Are you asking yourself the question “Does vaping cause oral cancer?” Many people consider vaping, or the use of e-Cigarettes, as a safe alternative to smoking traditional tobacco. In fact, vaping is often even promoted as a healthy alternative to smoking or a helpful way for those who smoke to break their addiction successfully. E-cigarettes are becoming so common, in fact, that vaping shops seem to be popping up on every street corner in some cities.
If you’re considering turning to e-Cigarettes to help you stop smoking, or if you’re simply convinced the practice isn’t dangerous, please read on for the facts about this sometimes confusing matter.
The Basics of Vaping
There are a huge variety of e-Cigarettes on the market today, but they all function in the same basic manner. All e-Cigarettes have a liquid filled container that is home to a concoction of various chemicals and flavorings.
Secondly, all e-Cigarettes have some type of heating device that will turn this liquid into a vapor that can then be inhaled by the user, creating the desired effect in the body. Consider the following points as we get down to addressing the facts about whether this practice is truly safe.
They Still Contain Nicotine
Almost all brands and types of e-Cigarettes on the market today still contain nicotine, which is a highly addictive substance found in traditional cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.
Consistent nicotine use creates a dependency on the substance in order to feel good, and stopping use of it will then cause headaches, unstable moods, depression, and other negative symptoms.
Additionally, nicotine use can cause serious health complications, especially in people who have existing heart disease. It also causes damage to a developing fetus, which is why pregnant women are advised to avoid it.
Other Chemicals, Additives, and Flavorings
Most brands of e-Cigarettes on the market also contain formaldehyde, which is a chemical used in some building materials, as well as in the process of embalming dead bodies.
Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, or cancer causing agent, and repeated exposure to it can result in precancerous changes in the lining of the mouth that can be the beginning stages of oral cancer.
Diacetyl is another common chemical compound often found in e-Cigarettes. Unfortunately, it has been linked to serious lung conditions when inhaled repeatedly.
Last but not least, the various flavorings used to make e-Cigarettes taste pleasant can also contain cancer causing compounds, as well as lung irritants.
Are E-Cigarettes Truly Safer?
Traditional cigarette smoking kills some half a million Americans each year, so it is true that smoking related disease is a huge epidemic. The fact of the matter is, most of the damage and disease caused by smoking is a direct result of the chemical compounds breathed in. Most of these chemicals, and some new ones, are still present in e-Cigarettes, which means they are still very risky.
Some people are under the false notion that because e-Cigarettes don’t actually burn, that these chemical compounds are less dangerous. But the liquid is still heated up to turn it into a vapor, and these vaporized compounds pose as many risks as traditional cigarettes, particularly the concern of developing oral and lung cancer.
Know the Signs of Oral Cancer
The number one concern of both traditional cigarette use and vaping is the development of oral cancer. If you do decide to engage in this risky behavior, be aware of the following signs that can indicate the development of cancer in the mouth:
- Sores that don’t heal within a few days
- Red or white patches
- Numbness, pain, or swelling
- A persistent sore throat or hoarse voice that doesn’t go away
- Feeling like something is stuck in your throat
Here’s the bottom line: This year, almost 50,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer, many of whom will die from it. The best way to protect yourself from developing cancer of the mouth is to avoid the use of both traditional and e-Cigarettes, both of which contain several cancer causing chemicals.
Have More Questions?
Please contact our office at Salcetti & Associates if you ever have a question about your oral health or anything related to gum disease or oral cancer. As your trusted periodontist, we want you to be best informed and protect you from adverse dental health problems.