With the rise in popularity of vaping, there is a growing number of vape-related illnesses. One of the lesser known side effects of using a vape is the feeling of desensitization of a person’s tongue, known as “vape tongue.”
What Is Vaping?
According to the Center on Addiction, vaping is the “act of inhaling and exhaling the aerosol, often referred to as vapor, which is produced by an e-cigarette or similar device.” These devices don’t produce smoke, but rather an aerosol that contains fine particulates. These particles contain toxic chemicals, which have been linked to cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease.
Since their introduction in 2007, vaping devices come in a few styles. All contain a:
- Cartridge containing the liquid
- Heating component
The battery heats up the heating component, which turns the liquid, known as “vape juice,” in the cartridge into an aerosol that is inhaled into the lungs and then exhaled.
The Dangers of Vaping
In addition to vape tongue, vaping has been linked to a number of side effects including:
- Chronic cough
- Trouble breathing
These symptoms are experienced by users vaping both nicotine and cannabis. Experts suspect the solvents like propylene glycol, ethylene glycol and vegetable glycerin are to blame. When consumed often, they can coat the tongue to block you from tasting and can inflame the nasal cavity. While this may prevent users from tasting their vape, it also stops them from enjoying the flavors of their food or drinks.
While most of the vaping related conditions are resolved once the patients stop, there is no research on the long-term risks of vape tongue.
Researchers found tht vaping can lead to long-term oral health disorders such as lung inflammation and gastrointestinal problems. A 2016 study found that after just a few minutes of vaping, participants’ oral tissue became inflamed. This put them at risk of developing oral diseases like cancer and gum disease.
How to Protect Yourself from Vape Tongue
The best way to prevent yourself from experiencing vape tongue and any of the other common side effects of vaping is to quit now. Users can gradually wean themselves off their devices, and most are able to give up the habit entirely.