Child Psychology and Behaviour

The Dangers Of E-Cigarettes And Teen Oral Health

Riya Thomas
7 to 11 years

Created by Riya Thomas
Updated on May 31, 2022

The Dangers Of E Cigarettes And Teen Oral Health

As smokers have known for a long time the dangers of smoking cigarettes, it's not surprising that some have switched to vaping as a “healthier” alternative. Also, teens and preteens are beginning to view it as a healthy option. The use of e-cigarettes by teens has skyrocketed in recent years.‍The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that teens today use e-cigarettes more often than traditional cigarettes.  As many as 37% of high school seniors and more than 17% of eighth-graders are exposed to e-cigarettes, according to a recent survey.

 

Some parents may not care about this statistic at all. As far as they are concerned, at least the youth are not smoking cigarettes, which is harmful to health.  The problem with vaping is that it not only puts kids at increased risk of smoking cigarettes in the future, but it also causes permanent damage to their gums and risks tooth loss. Read on to know more about the dangers of e-cigarettes and teen oral health.

 

What Are E-Cigarettes?

An E-cigarette is an electronic device that heats a liquid and emits an aerosol, or mix of small particles, into the air. Different sizes and shapes of E-cigarettes are available on the market. Batteries, heating elements, and a liquid reservoir are commonly found on these devices. "Vaping" is the term used for using an e-cigarette.

 

What Are The Dangers Of E-Cigarettes On Teens?

  • Nicotine is a common ingredient in e-cigarettes. Teenage brains are vulnerable to damage caused by nicotine addiction.

  • The risk of smoking cigarettes increases in the future for young people who use e-cigarettes.

  • E-cigarettes contain as well as emit a number of potentially toxic substances.

  • E-cigarettes are still not fully understood in terms of their long-term impact.

 

How do E-cigarettes Affect Teen Oral Health?

 

Here are four ways that vaping negatively impacts the oral health of children:

 

1. E-cigarettes can lead to gum disease and tooth loss

 

Despite the fact that their amounts are much lower than conventional tobacco products, e-cigarettes still contain nicotine. Nicotine directly affects the gum tissues by inhibiting blood flow. It also affects the mouth's natural ability to fight infection and regenerate connective tissue. This could result in a higher risk of gum disease and tooth loss. In due course, gum disease can also lead to other serious conditions.

 

2. E-cigarettes can cause dry mouth:

A component of vape juice is propylene glycol (PG), which breaks down into acids and propionaldehyde, which damages enamel when taken orally. PG also impedes the production of saliva, causing dry mouth. Not enough saliva in the mouth leads to cavities and gum disease.

 

Water can rehydrate the mouth, but it's not a substitute for saliva. To combat dry mouth, teens tend to consume energy drinks or soda instead of water. Sugar in these drinks encourages the formation of bacteria and acids that further erode tooth enamel, thereby amplifying the damage caused by PG. 

 

3. E-cigarettes and cancer:

There is increasing evidence that e-cigarettes contain more dangerous chemicals than previously thought. When inhaled, these chemicals can cause lung damage and may even be carcinogenic. Consequently, your child is more likely to develop oral cancer.

 

4. Effects of sweet flavorings in e-cigarettes:

In response to the aerosol from e-cigarettes, four-fold more microorganisms (bacteria) adhered to tooth enamel, especially in pits and crevices. Considering many e-cigarette flavors are sweet, the aerosols emitted from them have the same physical and chemical properties as high-sucrose, gelatinous candies, and acidic drinks. Therefore, it contributes to tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease

 

Conclusion 

 

In order to minimize the oral and overall health risks associated with e-cigarettes, it is best to avoid them entirely. Young people are increasingly vaping, but it is important to remember that there is still little known about how this habit may affect them in the long run. Growing awareness of these effects is extremely significant.

 

Bring up the topic with your teens. Discuss it with them. Inform them that vaping is not a healthy option. It causes long-term problems and weakens the body.

 

Are there any points you would like to add to this? We'd love to hear them. 

 

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