Are E-cigs Bad for Your Teeth?
Many people think of e-cigarettes as healthier alternatives to traditional tobacco use… but new research shows that this concept may be nothing more than smoke and mirrors.
Since vaping is a relatively new habit, there’s been a lack of hard data on its long-term effects. A recently concluded vaping health study by the University of Rochester Medical Center is the first to deliver any concrete evidence of its harmful impacts to the body. The study focused on the impact to gum tissue, and results were disturbing: e-cigarette vapor is equally damaging to gum tissue as traditional tobacco smoke.
Why E-Cigs Hurt Your Gums
The study indicated that when vapor comes into contact with our gums, it triggers a response to release inflammatory proteins. The presence of this protein aggravates and damages the cells that make up gum tissue. The result? Your gums will be more prone to various oral diseases. Inflamed gum tissue is vulnerable to a range of harmful conditions.
Of course, the severity of the damage will vary from person to person. Just as with smoking cigarettes, heavy vapers will experience more negative effects than light users of vape pens. Vapers’ preferred flavors have an impact, too. To achieve different tastes, e-cigarette fluid manufacturers add different chemicals to the mixture, and some are more harmful to the body than others. So far, researchers have determined that strawberry flavoring is the most damaging to health.
The impacts of this study aren’t limited to the debate of vaping vs smoking. They also help scientists understand exactly how traditional cigarettes affect our gums. It had previously been thought that chemicals in cigarette smoke were responsible for harming gums, but researchers now understand that it’s more complicated.
Scientists are calling for much more research to be done, and particularly, for manufacturers to disclose all of the materials and chemicals used in producing vape pen liquid. Additional studies will help consumers make the most informed decisions about their habits, whether it’s giving up the vape pens altogether, reducing their use or simply switching flavors.
Vaping is Not Good for Your Gums, But Better Than Tobacco
Die-hard vaping enthusiasts don’t need to despair just yet. It still does appear that using e-cigarettes is significantly less harmful than traditional smoking habits. The best bet for your health is not to use nicotine products at all, but people who switch from smoking cigarettes to vaping are still likely to avoid some of tobacco’s most adverse health effects.
Another big plus for vaping doesn’t affect the users themselves, but those around them: according to the most up to date research, exhaled e-cigarette vapor doesn’t harm people in the immediate vicinity the way that secondhand smoke does.
Smoking tobacco has a complicated range of effects on our bodies. Negative consequences of smoking can manifest in many different organs and body parts, from the gums to the lungs, the heart to the throat. The results of this study focused solely on the gums, so there’s much left to be examined.
Before we can conclusively say just how healthy electronic cigarettes are in comparison to tobacco smoke, a great deal of further research remains to be done.