Maryville and Knoxville, TN
Vaping has been marketed as a healthier alternative to smoking, but your JUUL or e-cigarette might be putting you at risk for more health issues than you realize. Vaping increases your risk of developing seizures and heart disease. In September, reports started coming in of several people around the United States who had died from lung illnesses caused by vaping. Those facts are becoming more widely known, but a lesser-known fact is that dentists across the nation are seeing increasing amounts of tooth decay in patients that use e-cigarettes. Your Maryville dentists at Crestview Dental can tell you that within a year of taking up vaping, the enamel on your teeth will start to erode and soften—thus increasing your risk of cavities. That’s why we want to help you see the negative side effects of vaping.
Your JUUL may be worse for your oral health than cigarettes
Vaping represents a significant and increasing proportion of tobacco consumption. This poses a disturbing threat to oral health in our country. Any e-cigarette, of which JUUL is a brand, works by heating a nicotine liquid to generate an aerosol vapor that the user inhales. The liquid in the e-cigarette, called e-liquid, is usually made up of propylene glycol, glycerin, flavorings, water, and nicotine. E-cigarette users tend to reach lower blood nicotine concentrations than tobacco smokers, although it is difficult to make a direct comparison because nicotine concentrations in e-cigarettes are customizable and vary from user to user. Modern vaping has become so popular for a variety of reasons. It is used as an aid to quit smoking. It is marketed as less harmful than traditional cigarettes. The ability to vape in smoke-free areas is convenient for users, and for recreational use.
Five reasons why vaping or JUULing is dangerous:
- Who It Targets – Much like when cigarettes were first introduced into mainstream use, there are fewer restrictions on who can vape. That means our young people are using e-cigarettes more. It is estimated that 27 percent of high school students now are using some form of tobacco product. E-cigarette use from 2017 to 2018 spiked by 78 percent among high school students and 49 percent among middle school students, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Propylene glycol – This is used as a vape “juice” additive. Otherwise known as PG, it also is used for food processing and in polymers. This form of liquid alcohol can be found in various food items, such as liquid sweeteners, ice cream, and whipped dairy products. It can also act as a carrier for various inhalant pharmaceutical products, including nicotine. The reason it’s dangerous is that it can be toxic to tooth enamel and the soft tissues in your mouth, leading to gum disease while increasing risk of cavities and other oral health issues like dry mouth.
- Vegetable glycerin – Referred to as VG, this is a colorless, odorless, viscous, and sweet-tasting liquid that adds flavor to the liquid used in an e-cigarette. Vegetable glycerin has a myriad of applications, including medical, pharmaceutical, and personal care. It is dangerous because it creates softer enamel and helps sugars stick to your teeth, where they can become a food source for the bacteria that cause cavities, leading to rampant decay.
- Nicotine – Cigarettes and e-cigarettes alike both contain nicotine, which is a well-documented cause of gum disease and tooth loss. Although e-cigarettes usually have less nicotine than cigarettes, vaping or JUULing decreases blood flow and raises your risk of both tooth loss and gum disease.
- Lithium batteries – Any type of vaping device or JUUL uses a lithium battery, which is prone to explosion. Where modern markets have made these new devices so modifiable, they often lack any internal safety device. E-cigarettes are prone to exploding. The School of Public Health at UNT Health Science Center published a study that estimated that there were 2,035 e-cigarette explosions and subsequent burn injuries in the US between 2015 and 2017. These injuries, while very seldom fatal, are serious—often leading to a disfigurement of oral soft tissue.
Vaping vs. Smoking
Advocates for vaping claim that it poses only 5 percent of the health risks that traditional tobacco use causes. And it is true that vaping or JUULing often helps people quit smoking or using chewing tobacco. Unfortunately, these advocates also do not consider that it adds health effects to nonsmokers who start vaping because these devices are perceived as being innocuous. Either way, whether you use e-cigarettes or smoke, it’s not good for your oral health.
Protecting your dental health in Knoxville
Crestview Dental understands that more and more today, young people have been or are currently vaping. We also see that many people just want to quit smoking. However, if you or someone you love is using an e-cigarette, they should seek out dental care immediately to make sure their teeth aren’t in danger. If you live in the Knoxville or Maryville, TN areas, contact us at (865) 982-1700 to schedule your appointment.