You can walk out onto a city street and get an idea of how big “vaping” has become. Considered to be a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes have been adopted by a great majority of the population. To be exact, 9 million U.S. adults smoke e-cigarettes daily.
How “healthy” these smokeless tobacco products are remains to be seen. Since they are fairly new, very little is known about the possible long-term effects of e-cigarettes. However, recent studies have shown evidence that e-cigarettes are just as – if not more – damaging than regular cigarettes.
E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that contain a heating device and a cartridge that holds a liquid solution. The heating device vaporizes the liquid, and the resulting vapor is inhaled. The liquid solution – eLiquid – contains four main ingredients:
- Propylene Glycol or Vegetable Glycerine – carriers for the nicotine and flavors. These are typically found in most food products.
- Flavoring – food flavors are added for tastes
- Water – mighty fine H2O
- Nicotine – quantity can range from 0 – 24 mg
There are many unknowns about the effects of smoking vaporized e-liquid, but we do have reason to believe that vaping is, in fact, bad for your mouth’s health. A study was recently published where researchers placed cells, similar to skin, and a fluid, similar to saliva, in a small chamber. The cells were then exposed to vapor for 5 seconds, once per minute, for a total of 15 minutes each day. The researchers found that the percentage of the dead and dying mouth cells rose from an average of 2%, for unexposed cells, to 18% on the first day, 40% on the second day, and 53% on the third day.
What is killing the cells?
Researchers believe that there may be chemicals in the Propylene Glycol or Vegetable Glycerine that, when heated, worsen the effects of nicotine. However, more research is needed to find the root of the cause, but doctors do believe that this brings up a cause for concern.
If you are worried about the effects smoking e-cigarettes, or regular cigarettes, has on your oral health, schedule a check-up at Greenspoint dental!