Vaping has become increasingly popular among young people in recent years, but the long-term consequences are still emerging. Mary-Kate Willis, known as @mk9unit on TikTok, recently shared her shocking realization about the damage vaping has done to her teeth.
In a video on TikTok, Willis explained why she had opted out of regular dental care for four years. She stopped going to the dentist due to an eating disorder, a vaping addiction, a Diet Coke habit, and regular cannabis use.
Despite not seeing a dentist for four years, Willis believed she had perfect teeth since she had never needed braces like many others. However, when she finally did visit a dentist, she received some alarming news about her oral health.
The Devastating Impact of Vaping on Oral Health
Willis began vaping regularly around the age of 14 or 15, like many others in her town. Now, approximately seven years later, she is dealing with the significant effects of vaping on her teeth, mouth, and gums.
Her dental team informed her that she now has:
- Five cavities
- Pre-oral cancer
- Gum disease
- Chipped teeth
The news was a shock to Willis. She was told that she must quit nicotine within the year, or else her teeth could start falling out.
While Willis may not have received the news she was hoping for, it was a wake-up call she needed. The impact of vaping on oral health is a serious concern that needs attention.
The Dangers of Vaping
Vaping and e-cigarette use among young people have been on the rise, with as many as 1 in 4 high schoolers regularly using these devices. However, the long-term consequences are still being discovered.
The American Heart Association explains that the nicotine in cigarettes or e-cigarettes restricts blood flow to the gums, leading to gum disease, trauma, and infection. The chemicals found in the fluid of e-cigarettes, such as propylene glycol, benzene, and formaldehyde, can also cause similar damage.
Furthermore, even without nicotine, vaping and e-cigarette use alter the mouth’s bacterial makeup, getting rid of “good” bacteria while allowing “bad” bacteria to thrive. A 2021 study in the Journal of Dental Research supports the potential negative oral health effects of vaping.
Willis’ experience serves as a clear message: it’s crucial to quit or avoid the flavored air stick dependency associated with vaping to prevent further damage to teeth and overall oral health.
The Importance of Regular Dental Care
Willis’ video has sparked fear among some viewers who are now afraid to visit the dentist. However, she emphasized the importance of seeking dental care and assured her followers that professional dentists will not judge or shame them.
Visiting a dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings is essential for maintaining good oral health. Dentists play a vital role in identifying potential issues early on and providing appropriate treatment.
Willis shared her positive experience during her dental visit, highlighting the kindness and non-judgmental attitude of the dental professionals. She urged others not to feel guilty but proud for taking care of their oral health.
Remember, it never hurts to get a dental check-up and cleaning to ensure your teeth and gums are in good shape.
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