E-Cigarettes have become the new nicotine delivery system that’s been touted has a safer way to quit traditional tobacco. But is it really all that safe? By now everyone is aware of what traditional tobacco can do to your health. But the latest studies and surveys have the FDA and the CDC taking notice.
Recently a National Youth Tobacco Survey announced an increase in the use of these e-cigarettes among high school students from 4.7 percent in 2011 to 10 percent in 2012.
Unregulated, the odorless and smokeless vapor that emits from these electronic cigarettes make it the perfect delivery system for nicotine on school grounds. These items are sold on the Internet and in local shops as vape pipes or hookah pens.
Studies have found that e-cigs have ingredients that can be hazardous to your health like nitrosamines which are strong carcinogens similar to those found in tobacco. A recent study published in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) reported that scientists found small amounts of six toxic substances in the vapor of several different e-cigarette brands, including cadmium, nickel and lead. These toxins, even in low levels, can trigger throat and lung inflammation.
It’s the Nicotine
Nicotine, regardless of how it’s delivered, has long-term consequences even in small amounts. While e-cigarettes do not carry the same exact toxins as those found in regular tobacco cigarettes, nicotine is still present. Even though the concentration of nicotine is lower, any nicotine ingested can lead to dry mouth, gingivitis and periodontal (gum) disease. As a vasoconstrictor, it not only restricts the flow of blood in your teeth and gums but to your entire system as well. Nicotine also reduces the flow of saliva. Without adequate saliva your teeth and gums hold on to more concentrated form of plaque bacteria along the gum line a lot longer and the resulting accumulated toxins are not washed away as they are in normal mouths, increasing your chances of all sorts of gum disease and rampant tooth decay. Smoking can also delay healing from surgery as well and of course is implicated in oral cancer. (Unlike many other cancers and despite a decrease in tobacco smoking, oral cancer is actually increasing in incidence, up over 15% in the last 30 years!)
So if you don’t smoke, don’t start. For a healthier and more attractive smile, avoid all nicotine products, including e-cigarettes and snuff. Besides flossing, and brushing, be sure to have biannual dental visits to our team at Dr. Mark W Langberg, DDS, MAGD, PC . If you have any of the following symptoms, you may have gingivitis, the first stage in periodontitis (gum disease) that left untreated causes tooth loss and may contribute to stroke, heart disease, lower birth rate and even a shorter life expectancy!
- Gum recession
- Loose teeth
- Bleeding or inflamed gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Sores in the mouth
We will help you avoid gum disease with the best preventive dental technologies available. Call 248-356-8790 and discover the difference a great dentist can make! We hope to see you soon!
Until Next Time,
Mark W Langberg, DDS, MAGD
Your Southfield Family Dentist
Tel: (248) 356-8790
American Chemical Society. “Health concerns swirl around electronic cigarettes.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 28 Mar. 2014. Web.
24 Apr. 2014. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/274664