Dangers of Vaping & How it Affects Your Health

Dental
Dangers of Vaping & How it Affects Your Health

In recent years, the popularity of vaping has soared, with millions of people turning to e-cigarettes as an alternative to traditional smoking. However, the devastating dangers of vaping are becoming apparent. At Withers Dental we have been noticing more and more recently the effects of Vaping on the Toowoomba population’s oral health.

Chemicals

One of the gravest dangers of vaping lies in the inhalation of harmful chemicals. Vapes contain a liquid known as e-juice or vape juice, which typically contains nicotine, flavourings, and other additives. When heated, these substances transform into an aerosol that users inhale. A layer of these chemicals then coat the lungs. Unfortunately, this aerosol isn’t harmless water vapor as many assume. It often contains toxic substances such as formaldehyde, acrolein, and diacetyl, which have been linked to respiratory issues, lung damage, and even cancer. Specifically for oral health, a chemical-laden environment in the mouth can lead to tooth decay, cavities, and mouth sores, thereby deteriorating the overall dental health.

Popcorn Lung

One of the biggest areas of research is into a condition known as popcorn lung (bronchiolitis obliterans). This disease, although traditionally rare, is a serious lung disease that primarily affects the small airways in the lungs. The condition earned its nickname from an incident in the early 2000s when workers at a popcorn factory developed lung issues after exposure to a flavouring chemical called diacetyl, which was used to create a buttery taste in microwave popcorn. Diacetyl is often in flavourings used in vapes and while banned in many countries, studies have shown that some e-liquids still produce diacetyl as a by-product during the heating process. Diacetyl exposure can lead to dry mouth and bad breath, which can negatively impact the oral environment and your teeth.

Nicotine

Nicotine, a highly addictive substance traditionally found in cigarettes, is also found in many vapes. Many users, particularly young individuals, are unaware that the e-juice they consume contains nicotine. Nicotine addiction can lead to various health problems, including increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and an elevated risk of stroke. Moreover, adolescents and young adults who vape are at a greater risk of developing addiction-related issues, as their brains are still in the developmental stage. Particularly concerning is that nicotine can lead to gum disease, as it reduces blood flow to the gums, depriving them of necessary nutrients, leading to gum tissue death. A common occurrence we see here at Withers Dental from consistent exposure to nicotine.

Gum Disease and Oral Health

Vaping interrupts the natural microbiome in the mouth and has been linked to some oral diseases including periodontitis or gum disease. Vaping has been shown to trigger an inflammatory response in the body. Chronic inflammation plays a significant role in the development and progression of periodontal diseases. The inflammation caused by vaping can lead to damage of the gums and supporting structures around the teeth, exacerbating the risk of periodontitis.

While vaping initially emerged as a potential harm-reducing alternative to smoking, mounting evidence points to its hidden dangers It is crucial to spread awareness about the risks associated with vaping, especially among young people for who may be enticing.

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