My mom knows I smoke, and have since I was about 12. I used to smoke marijuana and cigarettes, but now I mostly use my vape cigarette. My mom used to be on me that I was ruining my teeth, among other things. I keep telling her now that I’m using my vapor cigarette, she can’t throw that at me, but she says I’m wrong. Is my mom right? Am I still messing up my teeth?
While smoking an electronic or vapor cigarette doesn’t affect teeth the same way old-school cigarettes do, they will still affect your teeth. Regular cigarettes cause bad breath and teeth staining. They also cause plaque, which is a sticky substance that bacteria thrives in, to harden onto the teeth, or to calcify. While these may not be a problem with electronic cigarettes, the nicotine is.
Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, meaning it restricts the blood vessels and inhibits blood flow. When the gums have decreased blood flow, there is decreased oxygen and nutrients going to the gums. This affects the way the mouth keeps itself clean because bacteria-fighting functions are affected. The gums also can’t heal themselves as well when oxygen and nutrients are decreased.
This can lead to periodontal or gum disease. You may already have gum disease if you notice:
- •that your gums are red, swollen, bleeding or tender;
- •that your teeth are loose;
- •or even that your breath is constantly bad.
Periodontal or gum disease not only can cause tooth loss, but lead to other serious health conditions, as well.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or are concerned with your dental health while using an electronic cigarette, visit your dentist. He can assess the health of your mouth and help you get on track for a smile that will last.
This post is sponsored by Angel Dental Care of Garfield Heights, Ohio.