Electronic cigarettes have been around for over ten years and were introduced as an aid to help people quit smoking traditional cigarettes.   But the question for the dental profession is:do e-cigarettes pose a risk to your oral health?

Traditional cigarettes cause teeth discoloration, plaque buildup,  bad breath and cancer. Chemicals like ammonia and carbon monoxide are inside the smoke and leave a residue throughout the mouth including the teeth.  These chemicals  present in the sticky residue left behind by the smoke cause health problems, not to mention entire body ailments.

E-cigarettes do not produce smoke, they produce a vapor.  They use a mix of nicotine, distilled water, flavoring agents and certain dangerous chemicals such as diethylene glycol.  Nicotine has been proven to contribute to dry mouth, gingivitis, periodontal disease and increase incidence of tooth loss.  The reason for this is nicotine works to constrict blood vessels, which reduces blood flow to the tissues in the mouth.  This decrease in blood flow also decreases white blood cells ability to combat bacterial infection and also decreases oxygen flow to cells. Therefore, yes, there is a cause for concern in the use of e-cigarettes. 

There have not been sufficient studies on the effects of e-cigs to make a conclusion as to whether the additional chemicals present in them are also harmful to our health.

As always in you have any questions please feel free to email me at[email protected].

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