Vaping & Oral Health, Mount Pleasant Oral Surgeon Educates Community

When the vaping epidemic exploded last summer, it became a dangerous yet desirable habit among youth. In an effort to educate the community on the dangers of vaping, Barefoot Oral & Facial Surgery and Project Save A Mouth (PSAM) are teaming up during National Children’s Dental Health Month to help raise awareness within local schools and urge teens to think twice about the deadly habit. Oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Barefoot has seen firsthand the effects vaping has on oral health–are you interested in coordinating an interview with Dr. Barefoot?

The group released a Stop The Vape PSA—Simah Herman shares her story that made national headlines after being placed in a medically induced coma when her lungs failed due to a life-threatening vaping-related illness. She was hospitalized for 10 days. “I didn’t think of myself as a smoker,” Simah said. “Vaping just makes it seem like you’re doing nothing wrong.”

Health officials with South Carolina Health and Environmental Control have reported 35 residents have been hospitalized for severe lung illness linked to using e-cigarettes and one reported death.

During the month of February, local youth have the opportunity to take a stand against the deadly outbreak by signing the Stop The Vape pledge.

Mount Pleasant Oral Surgeon Helps Combat the Deadly Vaping Epidemic
New initiative raises awareness of e-cigarette dangers and oral health risks associated with vaping

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (February 20, 2020) — The vaping epidemic exploded last summer, causing at least 64 deaths and more than 2,750 hospitalized cases of critical vaping-related illnesses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health officials with South Carolina Health and Environmental Control have reported 35 residents have been hospitalized with severe lung illnesses linked to using e-cigarettes and one reported death. Oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Matthew Barefoot of Barefoot Oral & Facial Surgery is partnering with Project Save A Mouth (PSAM) this month to raise awareness of vaping’s harmful health risks including the negative effects on oral health, and encourage youth to make healthy lifestyle decisions.

The PSAM project encourages local students to watch a PSA and sign the Stop The Vape pledge to take a stand against the deadly outbreak and pledge to not use e-cigarettes, other vaping devices, and tobacco products now and forever. Individuals who sign the Stop The Vape pledge by February 28, will have an opportunity to receive a pair of Apple AirPods Pro, provided by the oral surgeons.

Health officials say vaping products tend to mislead consumers, especially youth, into thinking their products are a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. More than five million children and teens are vaping in the United States–a surge from three million young users last year. In fact, 6.2 million middle and high school students in 2019 admitted to using flavored tobacco products. That’s seven out of every 10 students. Research also indicates the number of adults who vape will reach an all-time high of almost 55 million users by 2021.

Among alarming reports of lung-related injuries and cancer-causing chemicals, new research also indicates that vaping can lead to major dental health problems including decay and gum disease. Vaping can also increase the risk of oral cancer, heart disease, and the damage of blood cells. In some extreme cases, e-cigarettes can explode in the user’s mouth due to the battery malfunction, shattering their teeth and jaw.

“As a father of two sons and medical professional, I care deeply about the health and wellbeing of our community’s youth,” said board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon Dr. Matthew Barefoot. “Vaping is a serious public health epidemic and it’s time to take action. By signing the Stop The Vape pledge, students have an opportunity to raise awareness and help make a difference in our community.”

The Project Save A Mouth coalition partners with charities, companies, schools, government sectors, and medical professionals nationally and locally to educate the public of the importance of healthy dental habits and how to make healthy lifestyle decisions now and in the future.

About Barefoot Oral & Facial Surgery:
Barefoot Oral & Facial Surgery is devoted to providing high-quality oral surgery services to the community. Dr. Matthew Barefoot, a diplomat of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, offers a wide range of oral surgery services including dental implant placement, wisdom teeth extractions, corrective jaw surgery, and facial trauma treatment within a state-of-the-art facility. Barefoot Oral & Facial Surgery proudly serves the Mount Pleasant community and surrounding areas.