It’s been found that around 13% of high school aged children have used or are using electronic cigarettes (also known as e-cigarettes). This number is much higher than the adult average, which is as low as 3%. A lot of people mistakenly believe that e-cigarettes aren’t as harmful as smoking traditional cigarettes. Unfortunately, there is no evidence to prove this. As far as we know, e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes are both harmful to your health.
It’s important to remember, especially when it comes to young teens, that electronic cigarettes are still used as nicotine delivery devices. There’s no denying the negative effects that nicotine can have on dental and overall health.
Nicotine is an addictive stimulant. When it is inhaled into the lungs, nicotine is absorbed by lung tissue into the blood stream. Once it’s in the blood stream, it’s passed to the brain. Nicotine has a relaxing effect on the brain, calming the user. It is one of the most highly addictive, legal substances available.
When exposed to nicotine, the blood vessels constrict, which will reduce blood flow throughout the body. Obviously, this can cause many potential health issues, including cancer, heart disease, and periodontal (gum) disease. If less blood is delivered to the gums, they’ll also receive less oxygen and nutrients. This will cause gum disease to develop.
Many people feel like e-cigarettes are safer than regular cigarettes. However, nicotine is still nicotine and the end result is the same. No matter how it enters your body, nicotine is harmful. It’s important for parents to be vigilant and to educate their kids, since electronic cigarettes are being marketed directly towards teenagers and young adults.
If you’re concerned about your child and e-cigarettes, or if you need to make an appointment, please contact Piedmont Pediatric Dentistry, located in Greensboro, NC.