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You might have seen a strange device held by many teenagers nowadays, blowing out massive clouds of smoke. These devices are called vapes, and no, they aren’t any better than cigarettes. Vaping devices now come in many different shapes and sizes like a fountain pen, smartwatch, small box, or any other typical teenage accessories. Teenagers enjoy this activity by inhaling aerosol that comes out in the form of heavy clouds of smoke. Vaping was never meant to be something that people could use secretly. However, a company named Juul, founded in 2015 by two heavy former cigarette smokers, introduced USB-sized vaping devices which teenagers can easily use to vape without parents and school officials finding out. 

Almost all vaping devices share similar components and functioning. They contain a cartridge to hold the e-liquid, a mouthpiece to inhale, and a battery for power. When you turn it on, the battery heats a component that turns the e-liquid into an aerosol that the user can inhale. E-liquid is a chemical that people have argued is toxic to human health. It is the primary source of flavor that teenagers are getting addicted to and contains nicotine or THC, an active component found in marijuana. Our professional dentist in Greeley believes that toxic chemicals found in e-liquid are the leading cause of unexplained respiratory problems among the vape community. These chemicals are directly linked to causing cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease. 

Vape Causes Tooth Decay

Unfortunately, the list of health issues doesn’t stop there. As the popularity of vaping devices has sky-rocketed, so has the number of tooth decay cases that dentists are reporting. The sad thing is that even the teens with perfectly healthy teeth are falling victim to tooth decay because of vaping. Some of the dentists said that they had several patients who were regular smokers for 30-plus years but never had such severe oral issues. As soon as they switched to e-cigarettes, thinking it might be better for their health, the enamel on their teeth started to soften, significantly increasing the risk of cavities. 

Since vaping isn’t an old practice, professionals still can’t be too sure about its long-term effects on the individual’s health. Nevertheless, many are still pursuing the cause to determine precisely how bad vaping is for our community. However, it’s evident by now that people who value their oral health will stay away from vaping as much as possible. 

Why is Vaping Catastrophic for Oral Health

The primary cause to blame for the damage vaping does to teeth, and overall oral health is the e-liquid present inside the vape, responsible for the flavor and the addictive element. It contains propylene glycol, PG, a colorless carrier product. A viscous liquid is broken down into acetic acid, propionaldehyde, and lactic acid when orally used; all of these are highly toxic and harmful to our mouths’ natural enamel and soft tissue. Another health issue vapers face is dry mouth since the water molecules present in the saliva and oral tissue will bond with the PG. Dry mouth or xerostomia leads to more oral problems like burning mouth syndrome or thrush. Not to forget that when your mouth experiences dryness, the bacteria present will begin to build up around your teeth and gums, eventually leading to gum disease, bad breath, tooth decay, and mouth sores. These are also some of the oral health issues caused by smoking marijuana

Another harmful chemical in e-liquid is vegetable glycerin, VG, and flavorings, known to cause numerous dental issues. VG does not cause tooth decay on its own, but when the toxic flavorings are added to the equations, there is a massive increase in the microbial adhesion to biofilm formation and enamel. 

We can never ignore the addictive and harmful implications it has on teeth, oral health, and habits of a person. Nicotine is naturally found in tobacco. Even though nicotine is far less actively added in vapes than in traditional products made with tobacco, it’s still enough to harm the user’s gums. It decreases blood flow to the gums, negatively impacts cell function, and decreases tissue turnover. With the gum tissue getting weak and damaged, the chances of tooth loss or gum disease significantly increase. Don’t forget that nicotine stains your teeth very strongly. 

Furthermore, there have been many reported cases about the vaping devices exploding in the mouths of many teenagers, which resulted in severe injuries to their mouths. Almost all of them were immediately admitted to ICU and underwent heavy treatments to recover. The leading cause of the explosions is the usage of lithium batteries overheating when turning the e-liquid into vapors. Keep in mind that many of these vape exploding incidents go unreported, which means the actual number is far higher and more dangerous than the current one we see.

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