We’ve heard it all from e-cigarette vapers, “vaping is a healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes”, “vaping is helping me quit smoking cigarettes”, “vaping contains less chemicals than cigarettes” or “there is no scientific proof that vaping is harmful”. Although these claims are not completely wrong, let’s be real here, it also doesn’t mean they are RIGHT. In the end, arguing those claims only compares the lesser of two evils, which only creates reasons to continue exposing toxins and chemicals into our oral cavity and body posing health risks.
The oral cavity needs to maintain a certain environment to keep your gums, tongue and teeth healthy; bacteria, acidity level, moisture level and amount of saliva need to be constantly managed and maintained by the body for optimum oral health. The oral cavity is very resilient, but it is also quite delicate, and any imbalances can affect the environment of the oral cavity and the health of the gums and teeth. The health of the mouth can be easily influenced by mouth breathing, health conditions, medications, chemotherapy, etc. The mouth can also be influenced by types of food, drinks, bad habits like nail biting, improper teeth brushing to smoking or vaping.
So why can vaping cause problems? Vaping changes the environment in the mouth and it can cause burns, increased plaque accumulation, dry mouth, bad breath, gum inflammation, gum recession, and tooth decay. If you have had any recent oral surgeries or dental implants it may cause complications like irritation, dry socket, a periodontal disease leading to inflammation, bone loss, infection, delayed healing or even implant failure. Since it is proven that e-juice is not just water vapor, but a variety of different chemicals that directly contact the oral tissues, tongue, bronchial and lungs. The atomized e-juice vapors carry ultra fine toxic particles, among a list of harmful chemicals (nicotine, carbonyl compounds, volatile organic compound, sugar, diacetyl in flavoring, etc.) that is absorbed into the blood when it is introduced into the mouth and lungs. For anyone who has recently had any dental surgery or dental implants placed, it poses a significant risk factor for the development of periodontal disease which can lower the chances of successful dental treatment.
“It’s the nicotine found in vapes and tobacco that results in poor wound healing, increases anesthesia risk, and may lead to a host of other potential complications for surgery patients,” said AANA President Bruce Weiner, DNP, MSNA, CRNA.
Although vaping is still very new and no long-term evidences can be proven, as healthcare providers we need to encourage our patients to consider quitting smoking and/or vaping because of the possibility of periodontal disease, oral cancer, and many of the issues noted above that may complicate a favorable treatment outcome. Patient education is always important, especially if they are considering oral surgeries or dental implants since smoking or vaping e-cigarettes as it has direct contact with oral tissues. A lot of patients are not aware of the potential health complications or how it may complicate the healing process in the mouth. Vaping and e-cigarettes are perceived to be a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes. This is not the case; it may just be the lesser of two evils which leads patients to disregard the potential health complications. Remember in the 1950’s (which wasn’t that long ago) cigarettes were recommended and prescribed by physicians as healthy before long-term research proved otherwise. No one knows what the future holds for vaping, and yes, vaping maybe a good alternative to quitting cigarettes, but it should be seen as a stepping stone instead of a replacement for cigarettes.
What is oral cancer, why you need to screen and the dangers
Cancer is an uncontrollable growth of cells that attack and lead to damage of surrounding tissue. Oral cancer is seen as a growth or inflammation in the mouth that hesitates to go away. Oral cancer includes cancers of the lips, tongue, cheeks, the floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, sinuses and pharynx (throat). It can lead to death if not noticed and treated early.
The most common symptoms of oral cancer are
1. Inflammations/thickening lumps or bumps, irregular spots/crusts/or eroded areas of the lips, gums, or other parts situated inside the mouth.
2. The development of velvety white red or speckled (white and red) patches in the mouth.
3. Bleeding in the mouth without knowing the cause
4. Numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth or neck.
5. Consistent inflammation on the face, neck, or mouth which bleeds easily and does not heal within fourteen days.
6. Inflammation or feeling that something is caught deep down your throat.
7. When you’re having difficulty in chewing or swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue.
8. Hoarseness, severe sore throat, or change in the voice
9. Pain in the ear.
10. A change in your dentition.
11. Sudden loss of weight.
Why you need to screen
When next you go for your routine checkup, you may go for an oral screening to see if you may go for an oral screening to see if you’re developing or about to develop oral cancer. Oral cancer screening are tailored to catch the early symptoms of oral cancer before they proceed to a more delicate stage. Oral cancer screening is necessary because when caught early, oral cancer can be successfully treated. According to study, approximately eighty-four percent of oral cancer cases can be diagnosed early by a dental health professional. When a dentist performs oral cancer screening, they make use of a lot of tools to search for any form of discoloration or mouth inflammation in your mouth. After which they feel the tissues around your mouth to check for lumps or abnormalities. When they detect any form abnormality in your mouth, they will, therefore, send a sample to a lab for further testing. A biopsy may be required to find the makeup of the suspicious looking area. There are different kinds of biopsies and only your doctor can determine which one is better. A lot of doctors avoid brush biopsies because even though they’re very simple, they still require running scalpel biopsy to authenticate if the results of the brush biopsy are positive. However, scalpel biopsies are of different types; incisional and excisional depending whether only a place or the whole area is needed to determine what exactly is the nature of the problem. Moreover, some doctors perform the biopsies with lasers.
Woodside Denture Centre Airdrie
Although it has been proven that people who have been detected to have oral cancer usually had one of the risk factors. There’s also a growing rate of people who have been diagnosed with oral cancer but they never had any of the risk factors at all. So oral cancer screenings are still important in maintaining your overall health. Oral cancer can be prevented by performing regular oral screening during check-ups.
Dangers of oral cancer
Dangers of oral cancer includes
• Smoking: cigarette, cigar or pipe smokers are six times more susceptible to oral cancers than their counterparts who are none smokers.
• Smokeless tobacco users: people who use dip snuff, or chewing tobacco productions are fifty times more susceptible to cancers of the cheek, gums, and linning of the lips.
• Excessive alcohol intake: oral cancers are about six times more common in drinkers than in non-drinkers.
• Family that has cancer in their history
• Severe sun exposure especially at a tender age.
• Human papillomavirus (HPV): Some HPV strains are etiologic risk factors for oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC).
According to study twenty-five per cent of oral cancer occur in patients who do not smoke and who only drink alcohol often.
Early detection is the best way to defeat cancer. Call us today and get an oral cancer screening for free!