Understanding the Science Behind Vaping

While the whole industry of electronic cigarette smoking, or vaping, as many people call it, is subject to a lot of scrutiny from public health officials. What most of them don’t fully understand is how the act of vaping can help save people from tobacco use. Yes, electronic cigarettes have been proven to be one of the best alternatives for people who are trying to quit using tobacco. The logic behind it is really simple.

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Tobacco and cigarettes contain the chemical called nicotine. Nicotine is chemically defined as a nitrogen-containing chemical – an alkaloid – which is made by several types of plants, including the tobacco plant. Nicotine can also be produced synthetically. Either way, there are statistics that should be revealed about this chemical.

For one, nicotine is one of the most heavily used addictive drugs in the U.S., and the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death. Cigarette smoking accounts for 90 percent of lung cancer cases in the U.S., and about 38,000 deaths per year can be attributed to secondhand smoke. Most cigarettes in the U.S. market today contain 10 milligrams (mg) or more of nicotine, and the average smoker takes in 1 to 2 mg nicotine per cigarette.

Vaping allows users to take in nicotine in a much more controlled manner. Many innovations with concentrate vapes allow not only voltage and wattage adjustments in the system, but also with the overall experience using the device.

The secret behind vapes’ alluring user experience is the E-Juice or concentrate. E-Juice typically contains three main chemicals – propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin and nicotine. Know more about these key ingredients, understand E-Juice at its chemical level, and be enlightened how vapes can really be beneficial.

Propylene Glycol

The first important component of E-Juice is propylene glycol. The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry defines the chemical in a more in-depth sense; propylene glycol is a synthetic liquid substance that absorbs water and is used to make polyester compounds, and as a base for deicing solutions. Also, propylene glycol is used by chemical, food, and pharmaceutical industries as antifreeze to prevent contact with food in case of leakage. True enough, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified propylene glycol as an additive that is “generally recognized as safe” for use in food.

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It is used to absorb extra water and maintain moisture in certain medicines, cosmetics, or food products. It is a solvent for food colors and flavors, and in paint and in plastics industries. Propylene glycol is also used to create artificial smoke or fog used in fire-fighting training and in theatrical productions.

Other names for propylene glycol are 1,2-dihydroxypropane, 1,2-propanediol, methyl glycol, and trimethyl glycol. Propylene glycol is clear, colorless, slightly syrupy liquid at room temperature. It may exist in air in vapor form, although propylene glycol must be heated or briskly shaken to produce a vapor. Propylene glycol is practically odorless and tasteless.

Its safety is reassured by different chemists in the industry. Unlike its dangerous and frequently lethal cousin, ethylene glycol, PG is easily metabolized by the liver into normal products of the citric acid metabolic cycle, which are completely nontoxic to the body. Approximately 45 percent of any ingested PG is excreted directly from the body and never even comes into contact with the liver.

The elimination half-life for propylene glycol is approximately four hours, and there is no bioaccumulation (buildup in the body over time). A few rare incidents have occurred when a person ingested a large quantity of propylene glycol and suffered physiological neurological effects as a result, but these cases are short-lived and subsided once the material was metabolized and excreted.

As such, the next time one asks about the safety of E-Juice, be sure to make it a point to enlighten them regarding its primary component – propylene glycol. It is safe, DFA approved and generally applied in other common products.

Vegetable Glycerin

The next major component of any concentrate juice used in vaping is vegetable glycerin. Vegetable glycerin, or glycerol, is a clear, odorless liquid produced from plant oils, typically palm, soy, or coconut oil. Palm and coconut oils are natural triglyceride mixtures. Each triglyceride is composed of three fatty acids esterified with glycerin. Vegetable glycerin has a number of valuable applications that include cosmetic products, foods, and as a replacement for alcohol in herbal and botanical tinctures.

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Nutrients Review delves deeper into chemical’s metabolism and absorption rate, stating that glycerin is chemically classified as a sugar alcohol, but it is more similar to sugars. It is readily absorbed and is probably converted into glucose in the human body providing 4.3 kilocalories of energy per gram. In terms of how it reacts to the body, glycerin is not one of the FODMAPs (Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides and Polyols), because it is absorbed in the small intestine and does not pass to the large intestine where it would be fermented by intestinal bacteria.

Its applications are of great variety as it can be added as a humectant (wetting agent), thickener, solvent or sweetener for dairy products (cream), canned goods, confections, fondant, processed fruits, jams, energy bars, and other foods. The source of glycerin (animal or vegetable oil, corn syrup, petroleum) used in a food product is usually not revealed on the food labels. The health benefits of vegetable glycerin are also noted, as in some studies, glycerin in doses about 30 mL/kg body weight has slightly (by 2.6 percet) increased hyperhydration and endurance performance.

Glycerin as a food additive is considered Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Glycerin is expected to be safe to use for adults and children and has no known cancer-promoting (carcinogenic), DNA-damaging (mutagenic) or birth defect-causing (teratogenic) effects.

Another reason to believe that E-Juice and vaping in general are safe is that vapors are way less toxic than cigarette smoke.

Nicotine

While one may argue that vapors do not differ from cigarette smoke because it similarly has the nicotine in it, the main difference about this is that one can tweak the levels of this chemical in vaping. A variety of vape juice offers a wide array of nicotine levels one can choose from. From 12 mg down to 3 mg (sometimes, to no nicotine at all), vape juice allows a user to select from this wide range depending upon his or her preference.

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This is definitely an important consideration when it comes to vaping, especially for a newbie vaper. Getting the wrong nicotine strength is a good way to fail in one’s attempt to switch. Too much nicotine can make anyone sick and leery to continue vaping. Too little nicotine can leave one still craving for cigarette, making a person fail during the switch. The secret lies in finding the right level and sticking with it.

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Just like any other substance, nicotine causes long term users to develop a tolerance to the chemical. Most users settle into a comfortable level and rate at which they ingest nicotine and don’t adjust to a higher rate of use when smoking cigarettes. What happens when one goes from lower nicotine strength to a higher one is that the body becomes tolerant to the higher nicotine E-Juice. In other words, going to a higher nicotine strength to reduce the frequency that one vapes can only normalize the person to the new nicotine level, not make anyone vape less. The best thing to do is to go in a downward slope and not have an above average intake.

Tooth Wisdom: 3 Things You Need to Know About Oral Health

Oral health is easily one of the more overlooked aspects in achieving good overall health. The reason behind this is that people tend to see it as a luxury rather than a necessity, and just another part of their life that does not directly or greatly affect their body. Obviously, this is wrong. While physical and mental health receives more focus, the importance of dental health is as significant as the two aforementioned.

The underlying fact still remains – good overall health is achieved only by receiving care for all the aspects.

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Many still wonder what the true essence of good dental care is. As such, it is important to shed some light on the significance of having such, find the link between oral health and general health, and learn the steps one must take to achieve the best dental health possible. Here are 3 things you should know about oral health:

Oral Health Means Much More Than Healthy Teeth

Oral health touches every aspect of human life but is often taken for granted. One’s mouth is in fact a window into the health of the body. It can show signs of nutritional deficiencies or general infection. Systemic diseases, those that affect the entire body, may first become apparent because of mouth lesions or other oral problems.

A thorough oral examination can detect signs of nutritional deficiencies as well as a number of systemic diseases, including microbial infections, immune disorders, injuries, and some cancers. Indeed, the phrase the ‘mouth is a mirror’ has been used to illustrate the wealth of information that can be derived from examining oral tissues.

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With regard to the broadened meaning of oral health, the definition of overall health has eventually evolved. The standard definition of health, which is “freedom from disease, defect, or pain,” defines what health is not, rather than what it is. A more positive definition, one that the World Health Organization established in 1948, states that health is a complete state of physical, mental, and social well-being, and not just the absence of infirmity.

As such, it follows that oral health has created a link with one’s well-being and physiological stability. Just as people now understand that nature and nurture are inextricably linked, and mind and body are both expressions of human biology, people must now recognize that oral health and general health are inseparable.

So often, many people do ignore the signs and symptoms of oral disease and dysfunction to their own detriment. Consequently, given the definition by WHO, this entails that oral health is in fact integral to general health. One cannot be healthy when oral health is taken for granted.

This is why oral health and general health should not be interpreted as separate entities. The former is a critical component of the latter and both must be taken into consideration in the provision and design of healthcare services and programs to every community.

The Link Between Oral Health and General Health

To better understand how the mouth can affect the body, it helps to first determine what can possibly go wrong when oral health is disregarded in the first place.

Bacteria that build up on the teeth make gums prone to infection. The immune system then moves in to attack the infection and the gums become inflamed. Later on, the inflammation continues unless the infection is brought under control.

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Over time, inflammation and the chemicals it releases eat away at the gums and bone structure that hold teeth in place. The result is severe gum disease, known as periodontitis . Inflammation can also cause more serious problems to the rest of the body.

The working relationship between diabetes and periodontitis may be the strongest of all the connections between the mouth and body. People with diabetes have trouble processing sugar because of a lack of insulin, the hormone that converts sugar into energy. In this case, an inflammation in the mouth may serve as a sign that the body is beginning to lose the ability to control blood sugar.

Also, according to the Academy of General Dentistry people with chronic gum disease have a higher risk of having a heart attack. Researchers have learned that gum disease may contribute to heart disease because bacteria from infected gums can dislodge, enter the bloodstream, and attach to blood vessels and increase clot formation.

It has also been suggested that inflammation caused by gum disease may also trigger clot formation. Clots decrease blood flow to the heart, thereby causing an elevation in blood pressure and increasing the risk of a heart attack.

In line with symptoms evident in the mouth, doctors can actually collect and test saliva to detect other ailments based on a variety of substances that can be detected in the specimen. For example, cortisol levels in saliva are used to test for stress responses in newborn children. Fragments of certain bone-specific proteins may be checked, providing useful information in monitoring bone density in men and women who are prone to osteoporosis. Certain cancer markers and hormone levels are also detectable in saliva.

Routine saliva testing can also reveal the presence of illegal drugs, environmental toxins, hormones and antibodies indicating hepatitis or HIV infection, among other things. In fact, the ability to detect HIV-specific antibodies has led to the production of commercial, easy-to-use saliva test kits. In the future, saliva testing may replace blood testing as a means of diagnosing and monitoring diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, cirrhosis of the liver and many infectious diseases.

Steps to Take to be Orally Healthy

Taking good care of a person’s mouth, teeth and gums is already a healthy measure in itself. Good oral and dental hygiene can help prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease—and can help one keep his or her teeth as they get older.

It is important to always look for dental health professionals who are able to help you in deciding how to address any related health problems. Health Canada, a leading health authority in Canada, states that oral health is important at all stages of life. Seeking help from a Calgary pediatric dentist, or any other professional dental health practitioner, can mean the difference between a comfortable life and a sluggish day full of mouth related pains and aches.

Good dental health is a combination of proper daily maintenance (brushing and flossing) along with regular visits to dental care professional. People with crooked teeth, misaligned jaws and other problems with their mouth can often benefit from orthodontic procedures, such as braces or other techniques to correct the problems.

Braces – once for adolescents only – can now help people of all ages correct problems with their teeth and jaws. Not only do orthodontic procedures aid in improving the appearance, but it can also improve proper digestion (i.e. chewing of food) and even enhance speech problems, in some cases.

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Researchers are also discovering more reasons to brush and floss. As stated, a healthy mouth may help ward off medical disorders. Consequently, an unhealthy mouth, especially if the person is inflicted with gum disease, may increase his or her risk of serious health problems such as heart attack, stroke, poorly controlled diabetes and preterm labor.

Many dentists also suggest eating a healthy diet and limiting between-meal snacks. Various related studies show that, as a rule of thumb, one should: replace toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if bristles are frayed, avoid tobacco use, and lastly, visit the dentist regularly.

Dental Doohickey – 7 Popular Myths on Dental Health Debunked

It’s a common belief that you don’t have to go to a dentist if you’re not feeling any dental pain, and that white teeth is an indication of healthy teeth. Well, that’s not entirely true – nor is the fact that you don’t need to floss. To get everything straight, here are 7 myths on dental care debunked. You should keep them in mind so that you can fully take care of your teeth and achieve that perfect smile!

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White teeth mean healthy teeth.

One of the most common myths is that having whiter teeth means that your teeth are healthy. Your teeth may be white, but this cannot really show if there is an infection or cavities between the teeth. Plus, not everyone can achieve the pearly white teeth advertised in TV ads. The natural color of teeth varies from one person to another, and people with healthy teeth could have more yellowish teeth than another person.

Moreover, teeth naturally become a little discolored as one ages. This is also the case with teeth when they begin to break down. As such, tooth discoloration has been associated with unhealthy teeth – but, again, it is not always the case.

Bleaching is dangerous for your teeth.

Bleaching has been practiced by dentists for years now, and it’s no longer dangerous to your dental health.

Bleaching is a popular service being offered in recent years, given the availability of the technology that allows patients to get whiter smiles faster and safer. However, prior to 90’s, the raw materials used to bleach teeth were acidic and would actually break down enamel. Nowadays, the bleaching materials have a neutral PH and do not show any evidence of damage to the enamel or root of the tooth.

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When you are bleaching your teeth, you are simply oxidizing your teeth using carbamide peroxide so that light refracts more favorably off the enamel. What can be dangerous is aggressively using high concentrations of whitening gels that can traumatize or shock the teeth. Prolonged use of bleaching could cause sensitivity, but once you stop using any bleaching solutions, traces of pain should go away naturally.

Beauty salons are excellent places to get your teeth whitened.

Contrary to popular belief, beauty salons shouldn’t be a place to go to when you want your teeth whitened. It is illegal for beauticians to offer tooth-whitening treatments, and it is solely done by licensed practitioners of dentistry. This means that tooth whitening can only be legally performed by a dentist, a dental therapist, dental hygienist or a clinical dental technician working on the prescription of a dentist. You also need to see a dentist before you see the other dental professionals to receive the treatment.

The rules are there to protect your teeth and gums. Dental medicine practitioners train for many years to understand the ins and outs of dental medicine, to recognize disease and to know what treatments best suit which patient and how to carry them out. The same is true with teeth whitening procedures. Professionals in tertiary hospitals or specialized facilities like Hamptons Dental use whitening gels and high grade equipment just to make sure that the whitening in your teeth is done right.

Brushing teeth immediately after eating is the best way to go.

Brushing your teeth immediately after eating can actually affect the enamel of your teeth. Surely, it’s tempting to grab your toothbrush and scrub away at your teeth straight after a meal to get rid of any food particles. In reality, this can be detrimental to your dental health as it can do more harm than good.

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Foods containing citric acid, like oranges, grapefruits and lemons, weaken tooth enamel. Brushing too soon after eating them can damage the enamel in its weakened state.

If you really want to stimulate the sensation of brushing, it is more recommended for you to chew sugar-free gum – it stimulates saliva flow, cleans the mouth of food debris and neutralizes plaque acids. When you do get around to cleaning your teeth a little later, try not to be too aggressive with your brushing. Far better is to invest in a powered toothbrush that scientists have proven to be a better, kinder option for your teeth.

The more sugar you eat, the worse off your teeth become.

Surely, sugar is bad for your teeth, but it’s actually not the sugar that is hurting them. Bacteria in the mouth needs processed sugar to survive, but if you don’t consume sugar and have poor oral hygiene habits, you are still prone to the same decay. Also, if you eat a lot of processed sugars you are more likely to incur a certain amount of tooth decay.

Several species of oral bacteria feed on carbohydrates and produce acid as a byproduct through a process of simple fermentation. These bacteria live on the teeth in a biofilm called plaque. At this point, the acid slowly eats away at the tooth enamel, a thin layer of largely calcium that covers the tooth. The human tooth is in a constant state of mineralization and demineralization. Saliva helps neutralize acid from food to keep demineralization at a minimum. However, if the region gets too acidic, then demineralization takes over and rot sets in.

Nonetheless, maintaining oral hygiene through brushing and flossing regularly clears away food residue and starves the bacteria, keeping its growth in check. In the absence of brushing, the carbohydrates that linger the longest can cause the most damage.

Overall, the true cause of tooth decay is the combination of bacteria, sugar, and acid. Your gums can get irritated if sugar gets caught in between your teeth. It is important to brush or rinse after eating, especially after sweets, to get rid of the sugars and acids that can damage the enamel.

Flossing is not Important

Flossing is definitely important for oral health. Flossing is an extra step that a lot of people tend to skip after brushing their teeth which can lead to the buildup of bacteria. If you don’t floss, you are not cleaning almost 33% of the tooth surfaces that regular brushing can’t reach.

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Brushing alone cannot clean the whole area around a tooth when there is another tooth beside it. Flossing completes tooth brushing by removing dental plaque and food debris remaining in the inter-proximal region (the area that is between two teeth). That region is a place where tooth decay commonly forms.

Also, if dental plaque that is found between teeth is not cleaned, it can eventually release bad odors from your mouth. This is a major reason why a person may suffer from bad breath (halitosis). In fact, Tooth decay and gum disease, also caused by dental plaque, are the usual source of a bad smell in the mouth.

“Fine”-looking teeth is enough of a sign to disregard your dentist appointment

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality does not apply to oral health; it’s mainly because you wouldn’t really know if something’s wrong with your teeth until you go to a dentist or when the situation has gone worse. This is why you should have your teeth checked up regularly.

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Experts at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommend that adults should be called for check-ups, depending on risk factors including alcohol, tobacco use and diet. It is recommended to go to a dentist every three months for those who are at high risk of dental problems, and every two years for those with lower risks.

It’s wise to visit your dental team regularly even if you are not experiencing any problems with your mouth or teeth. Having your teeth checked regularly helps you and your dentist, dental hygienist or dental therapist in keeping your teeth and gums healthy and pain-free.