Family Dentists at Metro Dental in Harvest Hillsunderstand that quitting smoking is no easy feat – and turning to aids to help transition from a smoker to non-smoker can be beneficial. But not all non-tobacco alternatives are as squeaky clean as you may have thought, and actually come with their own adverse health effects.
Smokeless Tobacco Use
The use of e-cigarettes has increased steadily since they came out of China in 2007. Initially sought-after by tobacco users who hoped to replace their daily cigarette consumption with a burn-free device: E-Cigarettes now have a strong following of ex-smokers, never-smoked and ‘think it’s cool’ – individuals who all believe that vaping comes without any health risks. An alarmingly high group of users is teenagers – brought up in an anti-smoking era, and never to experience a night in a smoky bar, today’s teenager may have come to believe that vaping is a socially acceptable behaviour that eliminates any of the risks associated with tobacco use.
Ingredients of an E-Cigarette
Dr. Jeff Chen and Dr. Verena Lam explain that though e-cigarettes don’t burn like traditional cigarettes they do contain chemicals that are harmful. Containing liquid nicotine, formaldehyde, heavy metals, silicates and a slew of carcinogenic compounds – an e-cigarette certainly isn’t without health risks and reports show that they can cause respiratory and eye irritation and accidental poisonings. What is worrisome is that the ‘healthy alternative’ banner that e-cigarettes hide under may actually be normalizing nicotine use and attracting consumers that would never have reached for a cigarette.
Do E-Cigarettes Damage Oral Tissues?
There might not be any smoke but there’s still plenty of fire when it comes to the safety of e-cigarettes. A lack of studies and reports leaves the full danger of e-cigarettes unknown – and considering that Health Canada has not approved it as a smoking cessation aid – there’s plenty of reason to exercise caution over the use of vaping devices. But one thing that is known for sure is nicotine’s harmful effects on gum health – regardless of how it’s ingested. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor; restricting the amount of blood that can flow through veins. Without sufficient blood flow gums are literally starved of oxygen and nutrients – causing tissue to die. And the nature of nicotine can actually mask periodontal problems due to vasoconstriction which reduces bleeding gums, making patients think that their oral health is in good shape.