Dentist reveals devastating effect nicotine replacement gums, pouches and vapes can have in warning to ex-smokers




Today, on National No Tobacco Day 2024, smokers across the UK are encouraged to find out how to quit smoking for good.

However, a British dentist has warned vapers and ex-smokers that cigarette alternatives can also cause harm to their teeth and gums.

Dr Deepak Aulak, founder of artificial intelligence dental app Toothfairy and a regular guest on This Morning, said: “Smoking ruins lives, so when people want to quit, it's commendable.”

“Your oral health begins to improve within 20 minutes of smoking your last cigarette, but for many ex-smokers, it's far from that simple, and they struggle with cravings and suffer.

“Many people turn to nicotine replacement products to quit smoking, or to e-cigarettes because they believe e-cigarettes are a healthier option.

British dentist Dr Deepak Aulak has warned vapers and ex-smokers that cigarette alternatives can also cause harm to their teeth and gums

“What is most concerning is that many young people are starting to smoke e-cigarettes with little thought about the long-term effects on their mouths and bodies.”

Adding: “If you are trying to quit smoking or need advice on how to use e-cigarettes and other nicotine products, please consult your dentist.”

The Government is working towards making England and Wales smoke-free by 2030 and Scotland smoke-free by 2034 – from yellow and brown stains to tooth loss, gum disease and oral cancer, the harms of smoking are well documented.

Although numbers are falling, some 6.4 million British adults continued to smoke last year, and more than 3,000 people died from oral cancer.

National No Tobacco Day aims to provide support and encouragement to those who are quitting smoking – many of whom turn to alternatives such as e-cigarettes and nicotine replacement gum.

If you're considering some of the most popular alternatives to smoking, read on to learn about Dr. Deepak's recommendations.

E-cigarettes and electronic cigarettes

E-cigarettes were once promoted as a “safer” alternative to smoking, but now awareness of their risks is increasing.

E-cigarette juice or e-liquid – whether nicotine-free or not – contains metals, “volatile organic compounds” and cancer-causing chemicals (stock image)

Thanks to a series of recent studies and analyses, it's now well established that e-cigarettes, which use vapor rather than smoke, are associated with an alarming array of risks, from severe blood vessel damage to permanent lung scarring.

E-cigarette juice or e-liquid – whether nicotine-free or not – contains metals, “volatile organic compounds” and cancer-causing chemicals.

E-cigarette users may experience “tongue sucking” or a temporary loss of taste.

“The bottom line is, it's better for your mouth if you don't smoke or use any nicotine replacement products,” Dr. Deepak said.

“At a time when the UK is in the midst of a dental health crisis, it is particularly worrying to see so many young people using e-cigarettes – many of whom may have never smoked in the first place.”

A 2021 dental report found that while e-cigarette users had a lower risk of developing periodontal disease (gum disease) than smokers, it was still higher than non-smokers.

Meanwhile, another study concluded that e-cigarette use has a “quantifiable” impact on the natural bacteria in the mouth, known as the microbiome.

“The bottom line is, it's better for your mouth if you don't smoke at all or use any nicotine replacement products,” says Dr. Deepak

Previously, British Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt announced a new tax on e-cigarettes in the spring budget as part of the government's “smoke-free generation” efforts.

The price of the strongest e-liquids will rise by up to £3 under the Chancellor's plans to stop non-smokers becoming addicted to cheap electronic products containing nicotine.

nicotine bag

Another popular alternative for those trying to kick the habit are nicotine pouches.

Place them in your mouth, inserted between your lips and gums—the bags slowly release nicotine into the bloodstream, helping ex-smokers combat cravings.

While brands vary, some contain a variety of ingredients, from stabilizers to fillers and flavors, as well as artificial sweeteners.

Dentists warn that ostomy bags can cause a variety of health problems, including tooth decay, dry mouth, throat irritation, bad breath, gum recession, and chipped or broken teeth.

Nicotine pouches can also speed up the progression of gum disease.

Another popular option for those trying to kick the habit are nicotine pouches (stock image)
Finally, dentists warn against using nicotine gum, which has some worrying side effects (stock image)
Read more: A second-by-second comparison of the exact effects on your body after each puff of an e-cigarette

Dr. Deepak explains: “Your mouth is a fragile environment, and the presence of pockets of introduced substances can disrupt natural bacteria.

“If you are a user or are concerned about the impact on your oral health, please seek advice from your dentist.”

Users are advised to regularly change the position of the ostomy bag in the mouth, limit its use, and minimize talking while using it because of the friction it causes on the gums.

nicotine gum

Finally, dentists warn against using nicotine gum, which can have some concerning side effects.

Although nicotine gum is better for oral health than smoking, regular use of nicotine gum may cause canker sores on the tongue and cheeks and dry mouth.

Nicotine narrows blood vessels, so direct contact with your gums can also cause gingivitis, or gum disease.

Dr Deepak added: “Chewing sugar-free gum is actually good for oral health as it increases saliva production, which helps clear away unwanted acids and bacteria.

“While the chewing process is not necessarily affected, the presence of nicotine may exacerbate gum problems and lead to subsequent problems.”

The dentists' advice follows news in January that single-use e-cigarettes would be banned to protect children's health and prevent them from becoming “lifelong addicted”.

The number of children using e-cigarettes has tripled in the past three years, driven by disposable vaping devices, which come in a variety of bright colors and tempting flavors.

The ban is expected to take effect in late 2024 or early 2025.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *