The Dangers of Vaping

Dangers of Vaping

The Dangers of Vaping

As an orthodontic practice, most of our patients are adolescents and teens. We make it a priority to take an interest in our patient’s overall health in addition to creating healthy, beautiful smiles. This is especially true for issues that are more prevalent among kids. Our doctors often talk to our patients about their lifestyles and make good choices, but we want to be a resource for the parents of our patients as well. Have you heard of vaping? It is the latest trend that is considered to be healthier than smoking cigarettes. And while it may be true that there are some small benefits to vaping over cigarettes, it is by no means a safe way to smoke. The FDA recently denied authorization to market Juul products due to some of the company’s study findings regarding genotoxicity and potentially harmful chemicals leaching from the company’s proprietary e-liquid pods.

What is Vaping? 
An electronic cigarette – commonly known as a vape – is a smoking device that heats the liquid, creating vapor that the user inhales. There are many different kinds of vaping devices like vape pens, e-cigarettes, and others that vary in shape, size, and color. The liquid in the smoking device is an aerosol byproduct that can sometimes consist of flavorings and other chemicals. The liquid typically delivers nicotine or marijuana (and occasionally other drugs) to the user through the vapor that is inhaled into the lungs and exhaled through the nose or mouth.

Why Vaping is Bad for Your Overall Health?
While it is true that vaping liquid contains less nicotine than cigarettes, it can still contain many dangerous chemicals and substances such as:

  • Chemicals that cause cancer
  • Heavy metals (like nickel, tin, and lead)
  • Diacetyl – a chemical used in flavorings that is linked to lung disease
  • Unstable organic compounds
  • Extremely fine particles that cause damage when inhaled into the lungs

Nicotine Use in Adolescents
According to the 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey conducted in the United States by the CDC, 11.3% of high school students (1.72 million) and 2.8% (320,000) of middle school students reported current e-cigarette use. Vaping at such a young age poses many concerns in addition to those listed above. Nicotine specifically harms the developing adolescent brain and can affect learning, mood, attention, and impulse control. Another concern is that kids who vape are at an increased risk for future addiction to cigarettes and other drugs.

Why is Vaping Bad for Your Oral Health?
Research suggests that in addition to the many health risks, vaping can have a variety of negative effects on teeth and gums as well. Those include:

  • Excess bacteria that can lead to tooth decay, cavities, and gum diseases.
  • Dry mouth which can cause bad breath, mouth sores, and tooth decay.
  • Inflamed gums can be the root of various periodontal diseases if ongoing.
  • Overall oral irritation of the mouth, gums, and throat.
While vaping does not cause any immediate orthodontic concerns, some of these oral health issues can cause orthodontic problems. Tooth decay and tooth loss are especially worrisome when it comes to a patient’s orthodontic progress. Lastly, many studies have shown that a person’s oral health directly corresponds to their overall health.

The More You Know
Chances are that your child has been exposed to or knows someone who vapes. Talk to your kids about the dangers of vaping. Hopefully, this blog can help explain the health and dental effects vaping can have. We care about your family and are always happy to help. If you have any questions, our team is here for you!
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