The safety of eCigarettes has been debated since they became available in 2004. The rapid popularity of ‘vaping’ among smokers and non-smokers (including adolescents), has been a growing health concern. So much so that the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research is preparing for a study on the biological and physiological effects of ‘EC’ chemical components.
With limited scientific evidence to aid in developing public health policies, it is felt that the effects of ECs aerosol mixtures on cells, tissues and oral cavity warrant prompt attention. Rather than assess the effects of nicotine, this study will focus on the effect of tissues exposed to high concentrations of aerosol mixtures and the impact of vaporized chemical delivery to tissues in the mouth, airway structures and lung tissues. This may give a clearer picture on the effects of long-term exposure to EC chemical mixtures. Researchers hope to begin their research as early as February 2016.
ECs deliver a chemical mix of nicotine, formaldehyde and other chemicals through vapor. Since oral tissues are designed to be moist by nature, the water vapor that is inhaled into the mouth is absorbed readily by gum tissues.
Nicotine, consumed by any method, is known to have a drying effect on oral tissues. This decreases saliva that is manufactured by the mouth to help rid food particles and bacteria. Without sufficient saliva, bacteria multiply easier, increasing your risk for tooth decay and gum disease. If nothing else, EC users should be concerned about the bad breath that is associated with dry mouth.
After an extraction or implant placement, we strongly advise patients to stop smoking so healing time will not be slowed. Nicotine also constricts blood vessels in the mouth, which compromises the ability of oral tissues to heal.
Don’t allow misconceptions to negatively affect the health of your smile. If you smoke in any manner, pay particular attention to your oral health. Be sure to keep your regular exam appointments so we can help you maintain a healthy mouth and avoid problems – or catch them – at their earliest stages. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to schedule an appointment.