The electronic cigarette, more commonly referred to as an e-cig or e-cigarette, was created as we know it today in 2003 in Beijing, China. They were introduced in the United States in 2006 and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that 3.7 percent of adults use electronic cigarettes on a regular basis. This means that more than nine million Americans smoke or “vape” e-cigarettes.
There are over 500 brands selling 7,700 flavors in the market right now and that number is growing steadily.
The US surgeon general released a report recently that e-cigarette use has skyrocketed among America’s youth, especially middle and high school student. Teens reported smoking the devices because of the flavor variety and because they felt they were much less harmful than traditional cigarettes. The biggest problem with all of this information is that there just isn’t enough evidence to suggest that the chemicals inhaled and exhaled by these electronic cigarettes aren’t dangerous. In addition, most e-cigarette users still choose solutions that contain nicotine.
Dr. Ken Collins, DDS, leading Spokane area dentist says,
“One of the side effects of inhaling nicotine is that it affects your body’s ability to produce saliva. Your mouth counts on saliva to help keep bacteria from becoming built-up on the surfaces of the teeth and in between them. It also leads to bad breath from the combination of dry mouth and bacteria build up. Nicotine also restricts blood flow. This can prevent swelling, which sounds like a good thing but it actually makes it harder to detect gum disease and can cause the tissues in gums to recede due to lack of nutrients.”
Research conducted by the University of Rochester Medical Center is the first of its kind to study how e-cigarettes affect the cellular and molecular levels of oral health. They discovered that these e–cigarettes are actually as harmful to teeth and gums as traditional cigarettes. Some of the flavors even did more damage than others.
Another study conducted around the same time by Universite Laval and published in the Journal of Cellular Physiology found that mouth cells die after only a few days when exposed to electronic cigarette vapors. The study only exposed the cells to 15 minutes a day of two, five-second “inhalations” per minute. This is most likely less often than the average smoker actually vapes in terms of frequency and longevity.
Americans shouldn’t be in the dark much longer when it comes to the safety of vaping. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research is one of the National Institutes of Health which funds a majority of the dental research in the United States. They recently reported that there is too much unknown about the long-term effects of vaping using e-cigarettes. They were particularly concerned about oral cancer and periodontal disease. Their announcement clearly shows that more health professionals around the nation are becoming concerned at the relatively unstudied safety of these devices. More research is clearly being initiated and likely going on right now in order to help the public make better informed and educated decisions when it comes to their health and well-being.
Or office in Spokane is located at:
3151 E. 28th Ave.
Spokane, WA 99223
Office phone # 509-532-1111