With all of the discussion in the news in regard to E-cigarettes and the dangers associated them, we feel strongly about providing excellent health advice to our families. Teens and young adults are often drawn to vaping, when they otherwise would not have started smoking traditional cigarettes. The sleek design and tasty flavors have made this attractive to the high school and middle school demographic.

In vaping, a battery powered device heats the liquid, transforming it into a vapor to be inhaled. While most discussion has surrounded the effects of this vapor on the heart and lungs, there are also harmful effects to the oral cavity.

Kids don’t know what is in E cigarettes, they just know that it tastes good and it gives them a little buzz. Although they market less nicotine than cigarettes, making them seem like a safe alternative, it is common for kids to smoke the entire cartridge, which is equal to the nicotine in 2-3 packs of traditional cigarettes. With that in mind, here are a few of the ingredients that make E-cigarettes a detriment to oral health:

Ingredients that make E-cigarettes a detriment to oral health:

  • Propylene Glycol (PG): This is a carrier for the nicotene. The products formed when PG breaks down are toxic to enamel and soft tissue. Dry mouth, inflammation of the mouth and lips, dental caries, bone loss and loose teeth are commonly seen as an result of PG break down.
  • Vegetable Glycerin (VG): VG plus flavoring additives increase the bacterial adhesion to the enamel and doubles the amount of plaque. This allows more cavity causing bacteria to stick to a softer tooth. The result of this can be rampant decay in a patient that has had a very few cavities until this point.
  • Nicotine: 1 cartridge= 2-3 packs of cigarettes. Nicotine lowers the blood in the gingiva which results in gum disease and tooth loss.

If this isn’t enough to discourage the use of E cigarettes, the fact that explosions are thought to be grossly under reported should be of concern. Lithium batteries are known to overheat and due to the design of the E cigarette carriers, these explosions can cause a lot of damage, including disfigurement and burns inside and outside the mouth, and even death. Only a handful of the carriers sold in the United States have the “UL,” marking, which is an important functional safety certification.

Although lung damage and heart disease are very serious conditions, most teens would agree that those are conditions that effect the elderly. Vaping can drastically alter your appearance in a negative way. In a society where much focus is placed on aesthetics, that’s a real problem.

For more information, please make an appointment with our Teen Dentist Dr. Laura Walden-Pollina at (816) 548-3400

Dr. Laura Walden-Pollina
Dr. Laura Walden-PollinaTeen Dentist