Posted on Jan 25, 2017
It’s been estimated that around 10% of teenagers have used electronic cigarettes (also called e-cigarettes). This is a disturbing statistic because it’s a much higher number that adults who have used e-cigarettes – only 2.8%. Some people believe that smoking e-cigarettes is a healthier habit than smoking traditional cigarettes, and many claim that transitioning to e-cigarettes from traditional cigarettes is a great way to quit smoking. However, there is currently no study proving that electronic cigarettes are safer than traditional cigarettes.
It’s important to remember, especially when it comes to teens, that e-cigarettes are still just another form of a nicotine delivery device. We know all about the negative effects that nicotine can have on your teenager’s overall health and on his or her dental health.
Nicotine is considered a stimulant. When nicotine is inhaled into the body, it immediately becomes absorbed into the lung tissue, and then the blood stream, and is then passed into the brain. In a high enough concentration, nicotine is able to have a calming effect. In a statistic that shouldn’t surprise many, nicotine has been proven to be one of the most addictive legal substances available.
Nicotine narrows your teenager’s blood vessels, which then reduces blood flow throughout the entire body. This will eventually cause all sorts of health issues, but perhaps the main dental health problem caused by reduced blood flow is an increased risk of gum disease or periodontitis. If the gums don’t get enough blood, fewer nutrients and less oxygen are being absorbed. This will eventually lead to gum disease, which can cause bleeding, red, gums, halitosis, and even tooth loss.
Nicotine is nicotine, no matter how it’s being delivered into the body. Because e-cigarettes are being used by and marketed towards teens and young adults, it’s important to make sure you’re talking to your children about the potential health risks of this popular new trend.
If you’re concerned about your teen’s use of e-cigarettes, please contact Firestone Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, located in Firestone, Colorado.