Can e-cigs affect oral health?
E-cigarettes, or e-cigs, are often touted as devices to help smokers quit or reduce their tobacco intake; however, the question still remains – are they harmful to your oral health?
Here are some thoughts on e-cigs from your dentist in Edina, MN.
What Are E-cigs?
E-cigs are essentially a battery powered device that delivers an aerosol comprised of a diluent, flavorings, and nicotine. The devices don't produce smoke, but rather a vapor that is inhaled by the user.
This seems like it would be a great alternative to cigarettes containing tobacco; however, there aren't any clinical studies completed on the affects of e-cigs so consumers don't understand the risks that might be associated with this product.
The Effects of Nicotine
Nicotine does have an impact on the health of your gums, and if you are using e-cigs you may want to increase checkups with your dentist to every three months because nicotine can also mask the symptoms of gum disease since it reduces bleeding. It has also been known to increase clenching and grinding of your teeth because it's a stimulant. Additionally, nicotine inhibits the production of saliva, which increases your risk of developing dry mouth and bad breath.
If you're using e-cigs to help you reduce or quit smoking, we're happy to discuss ways you can protect your oral health during this time.