More and more people are turning away from tobacco products by heading towards electronic cigarettes. Over a short amount of time, these electronic devices, also known as e-cigs or vapes, have made a huge impact on smoking habits. A recent study showed that up to 60% of smokers use e-cigarettes to help successfully quit smoking. While quitting tobacco-based products will dramatically help your teeth, will smoking e-cigarettes harm your teeth?
The answer is “Maybe.”
Electronic cigarettes are small devices that can range in size and shape, from the size of regular cigarettes to something that looks like a pepper grinder. They all operate by using a battery powered heating coil to atomize e-liquid. E-liquid is most commonly a combination of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, flavoring, and might contain nicotine and polyethylene glycol 400. At the moment, electronic cigarettes and e-liquid are not regulated by the FDA which means the quality and ingredients can range from very high quality to dangerously low quality.
Advantages of E-cigs
The definite advantages of using electronic cigarettes mostly revolve around the fact that you’re not using tobacco products, which are linked to cancer, heavy tooth staining, gum disease, and tooth decay.
Disadvantages of E-cigs
The definite disadvantages of using electronic cigarettes revolve around the uncertainty of the quality, the presence of nicotine, and the ingredients. Nicotine reduces the amount of saliva your mouth. Less saliva in your mouth will dry your teeth out and increase your rate of tooth decay. There have also been some studies linking an increased risk for pneumonia with the vaporized e-cigarettes.
Using a high quality electronic cigarette is likely to be an improvement over other tobacco products, but your dental hygiene may still be at risk with e-cigs.
Regardless, we commend anyone who is making an effort to quit smoking!!