As a quickly evolving trend, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are found in strip malls, outlets, convenience stores, and online forums. Yet, concerning to many, there’s little research pertaining to the oral effects of “vaping,” as users call it. That’s why there are growing initiatives towards studying the specific chemical mixtures used in e-cigarettes, and their potential effects on oral and periodontal tissue cells.
To better understand, e-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that contain an interior-heating element called an atomizer. A solution or “e-juice” of the user’s choice is vaporized and inhaled, containing diluents, flavorings, and nicotine. Flavorings include tobacco, menthol, and fruit-flavored varieties.
Understandably so, there are concerns for young people, as some believe that E-cigarettes are simply a gateway to burnt tobacco smoking. Because it comes in contact with tissues in its more concentrated form, there is also a rise in concern regarding the actual aerosol of the e-cigarette. Again, research is lacking, but users have reported dry mouth and throat irritation, leading some to wonder if the aerosol is being absorbed in buccal (cheek) and pharyngeal mucosa (head and neck) tissues. For dental professionals, dry mouth is a concern all its own, as it increases a patient’s risk for tooth and gum infection.
Currently, governments across many countries are attempting to enact legislation for regulating e-cigarettes. According to the Oral Health Group, some of the recommendations of this new framework may include:
- Address both e-cigarettes that contain nicotine and those that do not
- Require that e-cigarettes be visually distinct from tobacco products
- Establish a maximum level of nicotine
- Require manufacturers to provide consumers with relevant information regarding ingredients and safety warnings
- Require e-cigarettes to be packaged in a child-proof manner
- Prohibit sales to those under 18 years of age
- Prohibit the addition of flavors that may appeal to youth
We Focus On Your Family’s Health
At Marvin Village Dentistry in Charlotte, Dr. Ginger Walford and team focus on your family’s health, which is why we make every effort to provide you with the information you need. While the use of e-cigarettes warrants additional research and investigation to determine its specific effects, we want you to know that the best way to maintain your oral health is to visit us regularly for checkups. By doing so, we’re able to detect any changes to your dental and oral health early, and guide you through the next steps.
Questions? Call Marvin Village Dentistry today.
Posted on behalf of Marvin Village Dentistry