The Wisdom Tooth



Vaping is a term used to describe the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) or other similar devices to inhale an aerosolised liquid. The idea behind e-cigarettes is to provide a less harmful alternative to traditional smoking, but the long-term health effects of vaping are not yet fully understood and are currently being researched.

Vaping works by heating a vape solution to create an aerosol that is inhaled. When a person inhales on the e-cigarette, the heating element vaporizes the vape solution, producing an aerosol that is inhaled into the lungs. The nicotine, if present in the vape solution is then absorbed into the bloodstream through the lungs, providing a similar experience to smoking a traditional cigarette.

What is in vape solutions?

Vaping - is it OK

The main ingredients in vape solutions are usually propylene glycol, glycerin, flavours. Some solutions can also contain nicotine. Other chemicals in vape solutions can include:

  • Acetaldehyde: which is a cancer causing substance that can irritate eyes, skin and the respiratory tract
  • Formaldehyde: another cancer causing substance that is used as a preservative
  • Diacetyl: a chemical that can cause severe damage to the airways in the lungs
  • Acrolein: a toxic chemical that is used as a herbicide
  • Lead, nickel and other metals: which are used in the heating coils of the e-cigarette device.

It is very important to be aware that the presence and amounts ofd these chemicals vary depending on the brand, type of e-cigarette device or the vape solution being used.
Also, no all vape solutions contain the same chemicals and some could contain other harmful substances not listed.

What are the general health risks involved with vaping?

The currently known risks of vaping are quite extensive, but as the long term effects have not been completely researched, more risks may be noted over time. The current risks include:

  • Nicotine addiction: Nicotine is a highly addictive substance that can lead to dependence and withdrawal symptoms. There are also risks of nicotine poisoning.
  • Lung damage: The long-term effects of vaping on the lungs are not yet fully understood, but studies have suggested that vaping can lead to lung damage and respiratory problems including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases like chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
  • Heart disease: Vaping has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Cancer: Although e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, they do contain chemicals that are known to be carcinogenic, such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. Long-term exposure to these chemicals can increase the risk of developing cancer.
  • Reproductive Health Issues: Vaping can have negative effects on reproductive health, including decreased fertility and a higher risk of miscarriage and stillbirth.

What are the harmful effects of vaping on the mouth?

There are several risk to the mouth with vaping.

  • Dry Mouth: Vaping can cause a decrease in saliva production, which can lead to dry mouth. This is because the chemicals in e-cigarettes can affect the salivary glands, reducing their ability to produce saliva. Dry mouth can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.
  • Gum Disease: Vaping can increase the risk of gum disease due to the chemicals in e-cigarettes irritating the gums. Gum disease can lead to tooth loss if left untreated.
  • Tooth Decay: The chemicals in e-cigarettes can also lead to tooth decay by promoting the growth of bacteria in the mouth. This can lead to cavities and tooth decay.
  • Tooth Sensitivity: Vaping can cause tooth sensitivity due to the nicotine and other chemicals in e-cigarettes. This can make it uncomfortable or painful to eat or drink certain foods and beverages.
  • Oral Cancer: The chemicals in e-cigarettes can also increase the risk of oral cancer. This is because these chemicals can cause damage to the DNA in cells, leading to abnormal growth and potentially cancerous tumors.
Dangers of Vaping

It is important to note that vaping can also mask the symptoms of gum disease and other oral health problems, making it more difficult to detect and treat these issues.

What avenues can I explore to quit vaping?


Quitting vaping can be challenging, but it is possible. Speak to your GP or call QUIT. These professionals may discuss strategies such as:

  • Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT): NRT can help to reduce withdrawal symptoms by providing nicotine through a different source, such as nicotine gum, patches, or lozenges.
  • Behavioral Therapy: Behavioral therapy can help individuals to identify triggers that lead to vaping and develop coping strategies to manage cravings.
  • Support Groups: Support groups can provide individuals with a supportive community and a space to share experiences and receive encouragement.
  • Counseling: Counseling can help individuals to address underlying issues that may be contributing to vaping, such as anxiety or depression.

If you have a child that might be vaping, definitely seek help from your GP or QUIT.

So where to from here?

Some people are prescribed vaping solutions by their GP as a method for quitting smoking cigarettes. Under the management of a health professional who understands the risks, complications and issues behind vaping, they are in the best position to manage these scenarios.

On the other hand, while social vaping may seem like fun thing to do, the potential negative health effects far outweigh any perceived benefits. From respiratory issues to dental health problems, vaping can have serious and long-lasting effects on our bodies. It is crucial to prioritize our health and promote healthy lifestyle choices that contribute to our overall well-being.

Let’s choose to prioritize our well-being and make healthy lifestyle choices that promote our overall health, including our smile. Quitting vaping and smoking may seem difficult, but with the right support and resources, it is possible. Let’s take the necessary steps to maintain a healthy smile and live a joyful, fulfilling life.

Further Reading

World Health Organisation
Lung Foundation Australia
The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne
American Lung Association
Johns Hopkins Medicine

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By The Wisdom Tooth 12 May 2023

Between causing bouts of discomfort on unwary mouths and hiding in dark corners, the wisdom tooth shares snippets of wisdom from the field of dentistry. the world smiles with you

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