Oral Surgery of Westchester December 2018

Research Shows the Negative Impact of Vaping on Oral Health

Vaping, the practice of inhaling vapors produced by e-cigarettes, has become increasingly popular over the years. Both former smokers who have made the switch and young people who started off vaping without ever smoking a cigarette will insist that vaping flavored nicotine is less harmful than smoking traditional cigarettes. Are they right? The most dangerous parts of tobacco cigarettes are the 7,000-plus chemicals smokers take in with each breath. Dr. Michael Joseph Blaha from John Hopkins Medicine admits that “there’s almost no doubt that [e-cigarettes] expose you to fewer toxic chemicals than traditional cigarettes.” However, this by no means makes vaping safe. E-cigarettes are just as addictive as traditional cigarettes; their nicotine use increases the likelihood of a heart attack, and researchers don’t know how the unknown chemicals used in e-cigarettes may impact a person’s health. “You’re exposing yourself to all kinds of chemicals that we don’t yet understand and that are probably not safe,” Dr. Blaha warns. Vaping also puts your oral health at risk. Early health problems associated with traditional smoking start in the mouth. Nicotine tar and other harmful chemicals found in cigarettes often cause bad breath, yellow stains, and weakened tooth enamel. While vaping won’t cause bad breath or unsightly stains, there are plenty of other ways it can harm your oral health.

● • Nicotine reduces blood flow, lowering the mouth’s ability to fight off infection and leading to a higher risk of gum disease. ● • The vapors from e-cigarettes release inflammatory proteins in gum tissue and cause painful oral diseases.

Where There’s Vapor ...

● • Many chemicals used to flavor e-cigarette vapor can cause cellular damage in the mouth.

● • Research from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine found that e-cigarettes suppress “key immune genes in your respiratory system and nasal passages,” as much as — if not more so than — smoking traditional cigarettes. Vaping can be just as harmful on your respiratory system as smoking. If you have a patient who is thinking about using a vape to quit smoking, warn them of the new dangers they face after picking up an e-cigarette. You should also let them know that a recent study from John Hopkins found “most people who intended to use e-cigarettes to kick the nicotine habit ended up continuing to smoke both traditional and e-cigarettes.”

The answer to better physical and oral health after smoking isn’t to start vaping. It’s to quit altogether.

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30-Minute Cauliflower Soup

INGREDIENTS This hearty soup is a quick, easy, healthy addition to your holiday table. It can also be made vegetarian by substituting chicken broth with vegetable broth. DIRECTIONS

1 small head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cored and sliced

1. In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter into warm oil. Add onion and leek, season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender, about 10–12 minutes. 2. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add cauliflower, broth, and cream. Simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes.

• • • • • • • •

1 leek, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth

3. Using a blender, purée in batches until smooth.

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

4. Top servings with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of pepper.

Salt and pepper, to taste


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