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Vaping and Gum Disease - Are They Linked?

Posted on 1/17/2017 by Doctor Southard
A close up of vaping device.
Vaping, or using electronic cigarettes, is a fairly new fad. Their popularity is due to the fact that they offer an alternative to traditional cigarettes, and don't contain many of the harmful carcinogens that regular cigarettes have.

But they do still contain nicotine, and nicotine can have a negative impact on your gum health.

What is Vaping?

Vaping is using what is called an electronic cigarette to inhale water vapor. The liquid inside the device is transformed into vapor by use of its battery. It is considered a better alternative to traditional cigarettes, as they don't contain tobacco, and are often considered "risk-free." Vaping is a fairly new activity, and is still not well understood by medical experts, as there are no long term studies on their effects.

Teeth Grinding

Nicotine is a stimulant, and stimulants can cause you to grind your teeth. When you grind, you not only wear down the enamel of your teeth, which can expose dentin and lead to sensitivity, you also cause your gums to recede. When your gums recede, bacteria have better access to get below the gum line. Once there, they can cause infections, which can also get into your teeth as well as your jawbone.

Reduces Blood Flow
Nicotine is known to reduce blood flow. When this happens, the ability for oxygen and nutrients to flow where they are needed is compromised. For your gums, this means that tissues don't get the nutrients they need to fight gum disease and therefore die off, causing recession.

Dry Mouth

Saliva plays a crucial role in bacterial prevention. It contains proteins that fight them, as well as wash them, as well as leftover food particles that bacteria like to eat, away. Because nicotine restricts blood flow, it reduces your ability to produce the amount of saliva you need, leaving your mouth to be a perfect home in which bacteria can thrive.

While the act of vaping might seem like a better alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes, electronic cigarettes still contain nicotine. The levels might not be as high, but any amount of nicotine can lead to issues with your gums that can eventually cause gum disease.

In order to prevent it from occurring, make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily. You should also visit your dentist at least twice a year. And for your best chances of prevention, you may also want to consider quitting all forms of smoking as well.

Please contact our office if you have any questions about vapings effects on your oral health.
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Steven Southard DDS, MS
Midwest Periodontics
1006 W St Maartens Dr, Suite A
St Joseph, MO 64506

(816) 207-4005

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