What Are E-Cigarettes
Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes can also be referred to as electronic nicotine delivery systems. An e-cigareete is a battery operated device that delivers nicotine and other chemicals as a vapor, instead of smoke. E-cigarettes can look like a regular cigarette or look like another other shape like a USB drive, toy, etc.
While many people assume that e-cigarettes are safer than traditional cigarettes, there is not enough research or knowledge to confirm this. Most available research do not provide conclusions about continued long-term use of e-cigarettes. Due to a lack of evidence about the side effects of these devices and the perceived view that they are safer, use of these devices is on the rise.
Known Effects of E-Cigarettes
It was believed for a long time that the chemicals found in cigarette smoke were the main cause of health issues. Emerging research from the University of Rochester is now showing that when the vapors from e-cigarettes are burned, the body’s cells will release inflammatory proteins. Release of inflammatory proteins results in cellular damage and stress on the cells. Long-term and frequent usage of e-cigarettes will lead to the formation of numerous oral diseases. Certain flavourings used in e-cigarettes also play a role in damaging cells in the mouth.
The gums in the mouth act as the body’s first line of defense against harmful organisms. A study done by the University of Laval demonstrated an increase in the amount of dying cells after exposure to e-cigarette vapors. Prolonged or continuous damage to gum tissues will increase the risk of infection, gum disease, and inflammation. If these conditions persist, long-term there will be an increased risk of developing cancer.
Let Us Dental Professional Know
It is important to let your dental professional know if you are using any type of nicotine product or any product that produces vapors or smoke. While, there is not enough research about the long term use of these items, the ability to monitor your oral health will help to prevent or curb further damage.