Vaping affects oral health

Many smokers turn to vapers or electronic cigarettes as an alternative to conventional tobacco. They are often unaware that this alternative has consequences similar to those of tobacco and that, contrary to what is often thought, it is not a good ally in the attempt to quit smoking.

According to the WHO, both tobacco and electronic cigarettes cause. addiction and lung damage, in addition to posing other types of health risks, so it is not recommended to consume any. In fact, the oral health is one of the most affected by the consumption of these products, as the mouth is the route of entry of the substances contained in these cigarettes.

“Both vapers and e-cigarettes can affect oral health in several ways: the vapor can dry out the mouth because it contains substances such as acetic acid and diacetyl, which are harmful to teeth and gums; which increases the risk of caries and facilitates the appearance of periodontal diseases. Also, both can cause irritation or inflammation of the gums and tongue”, says Iria Cancio, a doctor at the medical staff of the Sanitas Vigo Dental Clinic.

As for the comparison between vapers and e-cigarettes, Cancio considers that “neither stands out over the other, although it should be mentioned that both contain nicotine, a addictive substance that harms oral health and damages the cardiovascular system.”.

In addition, there are currently “few differences” with the damage caused by “traditional tobacco”: “tooth decay and staining, periodontal disease, edentulism (loss of pieces of the definitive dentition) and bad breath”.

In addition, Dr. Iria Cancio warns that “they contain more than thirty harmful substances. The compounds that form them, such as formaldehyde, are toxic in the short term and carcinogenic in the long term”.

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“Despite the fact that some manufacturers claim that they are a less harmful alternative to tobacco, in addition to the fact that there are no studies that support that they are effective in quitting the habit, many vapes contain, for the most part, nicotine at low levels, in addition to other highly toxic components that can cause lung and respiratory tract irritation”, he continues.

Many vapes contain, for the most part, nicotine at low levels, in addition to other highly toxic components that can produce lung and respiratory tract irritations

Iria Cancio

Doctor of the medical staff of Clínica Dental Sanitas Vigo

With regard to oral health, the doctor points out that “the most serious periodontal diseases can cause the bone and tissue losswhich irremediably ends up causing the tooth to fall out”. In addition, “gingivitis or periodontitis, if not detected in time, can cause health problems at a systemic level, leading to heart disease or diabetes”, he says.

As for less serious consequences, there are “gingivitis and caries, provided they are detected early, and can be treated in a simple way by taking the appropriate measures”. Thus, “caries can be treated by reconstruction of the tooth and, depending on its extent, root canal treatment (endodontics) or extraction of the tooth may be necessary,” Cancio explains. “Gingivitis is treated with dental cleaning, proper hygiene through brushing and flossing. In advanced cases, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis”.

The increase in plaque “is the easiest to contain”, since “you simply need to maintain a toothbrush after every meal, use dental floss, mouthwash and have a regular check-up at a dental clinic”.

Around the corner with the fumes on the terraces

The Spanish Society of Pneumology and Thoracic Surgery (SEPAR) insists on the extension of the ban on smoking or vaping in open public spaces such as terraces in the reform of the new Anti-tobacco Law. This ban was a star measure during the pandemic and SEPAR points out that it should be a permanent rule, and not a temporary one, based on the conclusions of a review of studies signed by José Ignacio de Granda-Orivea, Carlos Andrés Jiménez-Ruiz, Inmaculada Gorordo Unzuetac, Eva de Higes-Martínez, Eva Cabrera-César, Raúl Sandoval-Contreras and Carlos Rábade-Castedog, published in the scientific journal “The Spanish Society of Pneumology and Thoracic Surgery”.Open Respiratory Archives”, according to which passive smokers exposed to second-, third- and fourth-hand tobacco smoke and to toxic substances released by electronic devices are at increased risk of suffering cardiorespiratory infections and of contracting COVID-19.

This request is part of the package of measures already presented in November 2021 by SEPAR to be included in the future Anti-tobacco Law and, this time, this scientific society formulates it after this detailed report by Spanish pulmonologists and smoking experts, who argue that this measure would also protect hospitality employees from the consequences of passive exposure to tobacco smoke and to the toxins released by vaping and that it is essential that smokers be supported in their attempts to quit smoking..

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