August 05, 2015 | by Gina
E-Cigarettes: Their Threat to Your General and Dental Health
The general public is getting wise to the multitude of threats to health that cigarettes and cigars pose to both smokers and those who inhale second-hand smoke. Over half a century of research has shown the detriments of the habit: heart and pulmonary disease, many forms of cancer, and the #1 cause of periodontal disease and tooth loss. However, while cigarette smoking appears to be on the decline, a new trend has rushed to the forefront: e-cigarettes.
The e-cigarette, or, “electronic cigarette,” operates on battery power. They convert a liquid, containing nicotine and propylene glycol, to a vapor that can be inhaled and exhaled like a cigarette (the process is called “vaping,”) but without the burning of tobacco. This “smokeless” aspect of the e-cigarette might give the general impression that they are less harmful than traditional cigarettes. Many e-cigarettes are sold under the guise of an alternative to cigarettes, as an aid to quit the habit. However, the detriments or benefits of e-cigarettes are as yet almost completely without study or review of any kind. No studies currently in existence show that they can help people to kick the habit. The long-term effects of inhaling either propylene glycol, or nicotine in this manner, as as yet unknown. The FDA is currently unable to regulate the devices (also known as ENDS - electronic nicotine delivery systems), and is moving forward very slowly to extend their control.
While government and research facilities have just begun to address the issue, the battery-powered devices - many of which are even rechargeable via USB port, making them strangely alluring to a tech-savvy youthful population - seem to be catching on at an alarming rate. The use of ENDS with the population under 20 has tripled or even quadrupled in less than five years. A third of the users are female, and most of those are under 17 years old. Most e-cigarettes also come with a flavoring added, and each flavored cartridge is packaged in a “candy-like” way that appeals to the younger population, who are in fact buying them at the fastest rate. Products are also being produced to help conceal the carrying of the device, such as e-cigarettes camouflaged as the ends of string in a hooded sweatshirt, and are almost certainly aimed at a younger market. Statewide, 40 of the 50 states have adopted laws to ban the sale of ENDS to minors, but the use continues to increase.
Nicotine has been proven as a carcinogen, even when isolated from smoke. The dental effects include gingivitis, periodontitis, and xerostomia (dry mouth, which increases dental caries risk). Nicotine is also highly addictive, and it is speculated that far from assisting habitual smokers to quit, they may help to bring more of the population into the habit. Additionally, formaldehyde is produced in the process of “vaping” - another known carcinogen - and inhaled by the user and by those in the immediate vicinity as well.
While the long-term effects of ENDS are unknown, these known pieces of the whole make it almost certain that detrimental effects exist from their use. Time and research will tell, not whether or not the products are harmful, but only the degree of harm they will incur.
For additional reading, see the article “Dangerous Liasons,” AGD Impact, May 2015,
or visit www.agd.org.
March 05, 2018
Road Construction on Monroe Street
Road Construction on Monroe Street is planned for March - November 2018.
January 12, 2018
Flash Sale on Invisalign
Start off 2018 with a straighter and brighter smile! We are having a FLASH sale on Invisalign - only through January 31st 2018!
September 27, 2017
Erosion: What You Can Do
Erosion occurs when acids wear away at the tooth enamel over time. Read more for find out how it occurs and what you can do to prevent or treat teeth with erosion.
July 19, 2017
Invisalign - Why the Time is Now
Read more to find out how you can achieve a straighter and healthier smile.
April 17, 2017
Tips on How to Prepare Your Child for a Filling Visit
Here are some tips if your child has an appointment for a cavity.
February 13, 2017
Health History – Now Paperless
If you've been to our office lately, you may have noticed a change with our check-in process. We have introduced electronic health history forms.
January 15, 2017
How to Prepare for Your Child's First Visit to the Dentist
Dr. Farrow recommends children have their first dental visit after their first birthday. Learn how to prepare yourself and your child for their first visit to the dentist.
October 05, 2016
To Floss or Not to Floss?
Have you read the recent articles debunking the recommendations to floss daily? Read more about Gina's and Dr. Farrow's reflections and response to those articles.
August 15, 2016
We now offer dental implant services at Monroe Street Family Dental. Read more on why choosing a dental implant may be right for you.
July 21, 2016
Invisalign Promotion - Summer 2016
Monroe Street Family Dental is excited to offer an incredible package to help get you the smile you’ve always wanted!
July 06, 2016
Oral Care During Pregnancy: A Guide
Misinformation abounds in terms of prenatal dental health. Read more to know specifically what preventative steps to take before, during, and after your pregnancy.
May 04, 2016
The Healthy Baby Exam
What is a healthy baby exam and why is it important?
April 11, 2016
The Early Orthodontic Evaluation
Many parents with young children have questions about orthodontics: Will my son or daughter need braces? When do you start? How much will it cost?
March 24, 2016
“No-Drill Dentistry” on NPR’s Your Health
Is fluoride good for you and does Dr. Farrow recommend it? Read more...
March 02, 2016
Chicago Midwinter - What's at a Dental Convention?
Whatever your industry - everyone has a conference. What's at a dental convention and why does Dr. Farrow and his team attend? Read more to find out about their latest trip to Chicago for the Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting.
February 18, 2016
Managing Dental Anxiety
Going to the dentist can cause anxiety and this a normal reaction. Whether it is a specific fear (i.e needles, sounds, painful past experiences) or nervousness about the entire experience, we would like to know how you are feeling.
January 29, 2016
Preventing Overkill in Modern Dental Care
This past summer, I had the pleasure of reading an insightful article in the New Yorker by surgeon Atul Gawande, entitled “Overkill.” Its central thesis is that our health care system is wrought with overtreatment and unnecessary care.
December 28, 2015
Changes for State of Wisconsin Employees
2016 brings big changes to State of Wisconsin employees who previously had Momentum as their dental insurance administrator.
December 07, 2015
End of 2015 News
The end of year is upon us and we hope 2015 has been a wonderful year for you and your loved ones.
November 02, 2015
Options in Orthodontics: Stick with Your Dentist
Have you considered Invisalign as an adult for a straighter smile. Learn why your dentist may be the best person to help you with orthodontic treatment.
October 19, 2015
Oil Pulling: Is the Benefit Real?
Have you heard of “oil pulling"? This natural health trend is being touted by many as having curative properties.
September 30, 2015
Insurance Open Enrollment
The month of October brings open enrollment for dental benefits, and we encourage you to review your options. Read more to review some of options that may affect you.
September 21, 2015
For many students back to school also means participating in sports. A mouthguard is an essential piece of athletic gear that should be standard equipment from an early age.
August 05, 2015
E-Cigarettes: Their Threat to Your General and Dental Health
Learn more about e-cigarettes and how they can affect your health.
July 15, 2015
Probiotics and Your Oral Health
Several of our patients over the past year have asked about the probiotics and oral health.
June 24, 2015
Team Trip to San Francisco
Last week the entire team traveled to San Francisco for the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) conference and convocation for Dr. Farrow. Learn more about our trip!
March 06, 2015
Join Our Sustainability Commitment
Did you know the average person wastes at least 90 glasses of water every day by leaving the tap running while they brush their teeth?
February 15, 2015
What is Holistic Dentistry?
Many people that we have met in the last 5 years have asked us if our office practices “holistic dentistry.” We see our unique approach to holistic dentistry as one that broadens perspectives: whole person. whole community. whole planet.
March 17, 2014
Headaches and TMJ
Headaches are complex and can have many contributing factors. We have found that with careful diagnosis, we can relieve some headaches and improve patient's daily activities like eating and sleeping.
March 17, 2014
It's Not Just a Cleaning
Regular dental cleanings, with an exam, can do more than keep your smile attractive. Recent research suggests that the health of your mouth mirrors the condition of your body as a whole.