Americans smoke fewer cigarettes than ever.
But this does not mean that cigarettes are on their way out.
Weapons devices, also known as electronic cigarettes, have exploded in popularity in recent years.  ROMNEY PUSHES E-CIGARETTE REPEATS TO REPLY TO VAPING-RELATED LUNG ILLNESSES
Leading is Juul, which has nearly three-quarters of the US market share. From 2017 to 2018, sales of Juul increased by almost 800 percent.
Although these devices may initially appear to be healthier than smoking, they carry many of the same risks – and even a few new risks.
Since last month, federal officials have reported more than 400 cases of severe lung disease that may be related to gunshot wounds.
Dr. Barbara Keber, director of family medicine at Northwell Health & # 39; s Glen Cove Hospital in New York, told Healthline that it is a serious situation.
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"Many of these people have actually ended up on a ventilator with this acute illness," she said. "Most of them are actually adolescents or young adults, using e-cigarettes or e-nicotine instead of smoking."
Your family doctor will probably tell you that arming is an addictive habit that is bad for your body.
Your dentist, meanwhile, may have a few thoughts about why it is bad for your teeth.
Like cigarettes, vaping devices ̵
Here are some of the risks the devices may present to your teeth.
This oral disease causes inflammation of the gums and can develop into more serious conditions if left untreated.
One of the most common symptoms is bad breath.
Dr. Heather Kunen, DDS, MS, an orthodontist and co-founder of Beam Street Dental Clinic in New York, told Healthline that nicotine narrows blood vessels and prevents healthy blood flow.
That means, she said, that vaping (or smoking) can contribute to the development of gingivitis.
Kunen says that when it comes to convincing younger people to stay away from nicotine, she usually appeals to their vanity, explaining to them what gingivitis can do.
"I tell them that if they continue smoking or vaping, their breathing will smell and they will have an increased risk of losing their teeth," she said.
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a more advanced stage of gingivitis, one characterized by problems with the tissues around the teeth.
Keber told Healthline that the components found in evaporated nicotine form a bacterial bottom along the gums.
Hese products absolutely soften the tooth enamel and destroy it, ”she explained. "That's one piece of it. But these products also attach to the saliva in the mouth, creating a place for the bacteria to actually settle in the tiny cracks in the teeth and in between the teeth. It increases the bacterial component in the mouth, giving way to gum disease. . "
When gingivitis and periodontal disease are not checked, teeth can be lost. In fact, periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss.
Tooth decay and oral thrush
These two conditions are both caused by dryness in the mouth .
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Vaping is an important risk factor because of how the vapor affects the conditions of the mouth.
"We don't quite know what all the ingredients are in liquid used to vaporize the nicotine, "Keber said. "One of the ingredients known to be in the evaporating liquid is propylene glycol, which is similar to that used in antifreeze. And once you have evaporated, the breakdown includes some pretty damaging products."
Propylene glycol actually limits moisture by binding to moisture in the mouth, resulting in dry mouth and dry throat, which contributes to both tooth decay and oral thrush.
These chemicals also have a way of softening the enamel of the teeth, which also contributes to adverse effects.
Softening of the enamel leads to an opportunity for increased tooth cavity development, or tooth decay, "Kunen said.
It is believed that vaping may not be healthy, but that it is healthier than smoking.  "No companies have been able to show scientific data that e-cigarettes are a safe or a healthier alternative to smoking," Kunen said. "Preliminary studies by national health organizations show that e-cigarettes actually pose enormous health risks and contain carcinogens that can cause DNA changes that lead to cancer."
A study, published last year by the American Chemical Society, actually concluded that steam chemicals can damage DNA, thus increasing the risk of developing cancer.
"Vapor breaks down into acetic acid, lactic acid and propionaldehyde, all of which are toxic and toxic to the tissues of the oral cavity," said Keber.
To vape or not to vape?
Vaping is a new enough practice that scientific literature still plays catch.
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Kunen says that although e-cigarettes may appeal to someone looking for an alternative to cigarettes, they should
"E-cigarettes are not safe and are not a healthier alternative to tobacco cigarettes, period," she said. "Their elegant appearance and vapor-like aerosol mask the danger that lies within. The high popularity of Juul and other e-cigarettes, especially among the young population, should be of major concern, and the associated risks of e-cigarettes need to be made more public. "
This article was first published on HealthLine.com