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Think Vaping’s Better Than Smoking? Only if You Don’t Like Your Teeth

It’s only been a few weeks since Marlboro announced it was ending its conventional cigarette line to move into e-cigs exclusively, but before you fall for the line that vaping’s better than smoking, you might want to take a look at the latest teeth-clenching news from the Dentistry Network’s Perio-Implant Advisory.

Vapping

Despite advertising that says it’s safer, the vaping aerosol can cause dry mouth, tooth decay, tooth loss and gum disease, the dentists report, and because of it, “ … [F]or those of us in the health care professions, a tidal wave of oral health problems is heading our way.”

The dentists added that they’ve found three huge factors that make vaping possibly worse for you than combustible cigarettes — and all three things can kill your smile with “rampant decay with smooth-surfaced lesions and tooth loss.”

According to the dentists, the three major mouth-destroying components of e-cigs are:

1. Propylene glycol — This slightly sweet-tasting chemical is a major ingredient in e-cigs that breaks down in the mouth to certain acids that cause cavities, gum disease and other oral health issues.

2. Vegetable glycerin and flavorings — Although these ingredients have generally been promoted as not cavity-causing, studies show the combination of the glycerin with the flavorings causes “a fourfold increase in microbial adhesion to enamel and a twofold increase in biofilm formation,” which allows bacteria like Streptococcus mutans more foothold in tooth structure.

3. Nicotine — The advertisement you’ll hear is that there’s less nicotine in an e-cig than regular cigarettes. But what they don’t tell you in those ads is that smoking just one vape cartridge is equivalent to two or three packs of regular cigarettes — making nicotine just as dangerous with vaping as it is with smoking.

When you consider that vaping also can expose you to dangerous chemicals and toxic heavy metals like diacetyl, formaldehyde, diethylene glycol and tobacco-specific nitrosamine, there really isn’t anything “better” about an e-cigarette other than it helps tobacco companies keep selling their products.

If you need three more reasons not to vape, here they are:

1. Recent data demonstrate vaporized e-cig liquid increases inflammation in the lungs and damages lung cells responsible for protecting lung tissue, potentially increasing your risk for infection, as well as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Researchers found the vapor also disabled the ability of the macrophages to engulf bacteria and protect pulmonary function. This damage increases the cells vulnerability to dust, bacteria and allergens, increasing the risk of triggering COPD.

2. E-cigs increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Many e-cig liquids use flavor, found to induce early signs of cardiovascular disease leading to heart attack, stroke and even death. Researchers found changes appear almost immediately on the cellular level. At the highest level of exposure, the chemicals triggered outright cell death. At lower levels, researchers noted impaired nitric oxide production and inflammation.

3. Bystanders inhale as much nicotine from vape as traditional cigarettes. Vapor from e-cigarettes also include flavor chemicals, giving the user an experience similar to traditional cigarettes without high levels of offensive polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. However, while there is no offensive odor, the vapor does pollute the air with nicotine and fine particulate matter that is easily inhaled by bystanders.

The bottom line is, no matter what the advertising, unlike traditional cigarettes that have a distinct smell and presence, e-cigs are just as dangerous — if not more so — to both the user and innocent bystanders who have to breathe the toxic nicotine, heavy metals, fine particulate matter and formaldehyde from these devices.

What’s worse, while the number of people smoking traditional cigarettes has been dropping, the number of teens using e-cigs, also known as vaping, has steadily risen. The fact is children are the tobacco industry’s next target, and if it keeps up, these children are going to need dentures before they even get out of college.

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