Vaping is the “new smoking” that some say is a healthier alternative. But, while it may seem like it’s less harmful than tobacco, the truth is that it can lead to many consequences for your smile and overall health. In fact, it can put you at much greater risk for problems like cavities that require major work from a dentist in Waverly to repair. Learn more below about the impact of vaping and get valuable tips for quitting and maintaining your oral health.
How Can Vaping Put Your Smile At Risk?
Vaping affects your oral health in two main ways, both of which increase your risk of getting severe cavities:
- It causes dry mouth – Vaping liquid contains an ingredient called propylene glycol that breaks down into acids. These acids reduce your salivary flow, which leads to dry mouth. Normally, saliva neutralizes acids and has a natural anti-cavity effect. With dry mouth, you lose this protection. Dry mouth also causes bad breath and is harmful to the soft tissues in your mouth, which need moisture to stay healthy.
- It increases plaque – Glycerin is another ingredient in vaping liquid that’s often combined with various flavors. Since it’s very sticky, it increases the plaque levels in your mouth and makes it easier for cavity-causing bacteria to adhere to your teeth.
How Can You Quit Vaping and Protect Your Oral Health?
Although people may tell you that vaping is healthier than smoking, here’s an analogy to keep in mind: Driving 100 miles an hour with a seat belt on is less risky than without one, but neither is truly safe. In addition to putting your smile at risk, vaping has recently been found to put your lungs and general health as well. Not to mention that it’s very expensive.
For all of these reasons, quitting is one of the best decisions you can make. Here are some tips to make it easier:
- Talk with your doctor or dentist about managing nicotine withdrawals.
- Find an alternative to occupy your hands like snacking on chopped veggies.
- Chew gum.
- If possible, avoid triggers for the first week or two such as socializing with people who vape.
- Remember that it will get easier with each passing day.
To keep your teeth and gums healthy moving forward, remember the basics: See a dentist in Waverly every six months for checkups, brush and floss consistently, and limit the sugars in your diet. And remember, while vaping may be enjoyable in the short-term, spending tons of time and money in the dental chair certainly isn’t!
About the Author
Dr. Jonathon Smiley is a family dentist in Waverly and a graduate of the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine. As part of his commitment to providing comprehensive dental care, he always talks to his patients about the impact of their everyday habits, including vaping, to help them maintain better oral and overall health. If you have any questions about vaping, you can reach Dr. Smiley via his website.