With the introduction of vaping as an alternative to tobacco, there has been a growing trend of nicotine use among teenagers. This trend is being observed on a global scale, and it’s largely due to a dangerous misconception. That misconception is that there are no health risks associated with vaping. While it’s true that current science indicates the risks of vaping are much lower than that associated with tobacco, it is not without risk. Even without tar, there are still risks to our oral health associated with vaping. Kids World Pediatric Dental has put together this important guide to ensure you and your teen have the facts about vaping and its impact on oral health.
How Vaping And Tobacco Use Can Impact Oral Health
Health professionals have known for decades that smoking poses significant risks to your overall health. Dentists will tell you that this risk extends even to oral health, with consequences ranging from cosmetic to life-threatening. While the cosmetic concerns caused by tobacco use can be reversed in most cases, other consequences are permanent and may need extensive, costly treatments to reverse. The current information about the impact of vaping on our oral health is limited, but some consequences have already made themselves known. Below is a list of known risks associated with the use of nicotine-bearing products on your oral health.
The following consequences may occur for those using tobacco or vaping products:
- Increased tartar and plaque accumulation
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Oral cancer
- Gum Disease
- Enamel discoloration
- Slowed healing process
As mentioned above, the range of consequences runs from aesthetic concerns all the way to potentially life-threatening. One major concern is that of reduced healing following dental care. This means that the treatments to address major concerns may have longer healing times. Those extended healing times present a greater opportunity for complications to occur. These complications can include reinjury and reinfection of the treatment site.
To date, oral cancer is primarily tied to traditional tobacco use. However, that doesn’t lessen the risk it poses to our oral health. While this type of cancer is treatable, it is only true when caught early. It’s more difficult to treat when caught in the later stages and can be fatal. If quitting the habit isn’t a realistic goal, then it’s more important than ever to maintain regular visits to the dentist. Further, establishing a consistent dental hygiene routine will help limit your potential risk. However, the risk of oral health concerns will remain higher than it will be for non-nicotine-using patients.
Reach Out To Kids World Pediatric For Help With Tobacco Or Vape Use
We’re dedicated to helping our patients live their best life. To that end, we provide judgment-free support for them and their families. If your child struggles with a vape or tobacco addiction, we can direct them to cessation resources. More importantly, we can help educate them on the potential risks and how to protect themselves if they choose to proceed. Together, we’ll work to help ensure your whole family lives a full life with a beautiful smile. Call us today at (210) 787-1200 or visit our office in San Antonio, TX to schedule your first appointment.