When I am talking to my patients about different nicotine products and switching from smoking to nicotine replacement, pouches are one of the most popular choices. I get asked all the mouth-related questions, including if they can swallow ZYN nicotine pouch spit/saliva.
You can swallow your nicotine pouch spit/saliva, but it can cause increased nicotine absorption, irritate tissues of the throat, and increase the need to go to the bathroom. The ingredients used in ZYN are food-grade and safe to swallow in small quantities, as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
ZYN nicotine pouches can help people ween off smoking or vaping, or some enjoy using them. Whichever use you use them for, it is important to use them correctly and understand their different risks.
In this post, I delve deeper into swallowing ZYN pouch saliva and why you may not want to just because you can swallow it. The effects swallowing will have on your body and other things you should know, like how they affect your oral health and how to prevent tooth and gum damage.
Swallowing Zyn Nicotine saliva; Is it okay?
According to the ZYN website, all the ingredients used in the nicotine pouches are food-grade and safe to swallow in small quantities.
I had to ask people who use ZYN, as I don’t use them myself, to give you the most reliable answer about swallowing ZYN saliva!
By asking those who use ZYN, I gathered some pretty interesting information about swallowing saliva while using ZYN pouches.
It all comes down to personal preference. Some people like to swallow, and others like to spit.
Some people prefer not to swallow their saliva while using nicotine pouches because they do not like the taste, or they find they get more of an effect from the nicotine, which one person said makes them run to the bathroom.
Whereas other individuals liked the taste better when they swallowed their saliva and wanted the increased nicotine.
To recap, swallowing nicotine pouch saliva can;
- Increase nicotine levels absorbed
- Increased need to use the bathroom due to the increased effect on the sympathetic nervous system
- Irritate the tissues of the throat
As a dental hygienist, it is my duty to speak to my patients about the oral effects of smoking, tobacco and nicotine products. My approach may be different to other dental professionals, as I do not want to scold people for using these products, and try and convince them to quit. There are so many pressures in life, and me putting yet another pressure on them is not what I want to do. Instead, all I want to do is educate my patients on the effects of these products, and tips to improve thier oral health while using them.
I always want my dental chair to be a safe place, and I know that can sound cliche, but it is so true. Providing my patients with that safe place allows me to be the best dental hygienist to them.
Can you swallow nicotine pouches? What happens?
The nicotine pouches themselves should not be swallowed as they are not intended for that purpose. If you swallow one, you should consult your medical doctor to inform them. Even though the manufacturer’s website says small quantities are okay for consumption, they can still cause side effects as they contain nicotine salts that could irritate the stomach.
If the nicotine pouch is accidentally swallowed, your body will pass it through and excrete it through feces.
Nicotine pouches oral health side effects; what to look for
Microscopic tissue changes start to occur immediately when using nicotine pouches. As the nicotine is released and comes in contact with the gum tissue, it causes vasoconstriction (tightening of the blood vessels), decreasing healing.
Decreased healing in the mouth can lead to gum disease and other soft tissue complications.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, swallowing saliva while using ZYN pouches can increase the amount of nicotine you absorb into your body. Nicotine can increase the clenching and grinding of teeth, which can lead to cracks, chips and broken teeth.
If your teeth are becoming chipped/broken, or worn down, please get in touch with your dental professional. We want to prevent this irreversible damage as much as possible, and your dental professional can give you advice that is 100% tailored to you.
You want to look for any white patches/lesions that don’t disappear after two weeks. Oral cancer screening is vital, and early detection is so important. If your dental professional has not stated they are doing an oral cancer screening, ask them to do one!
Do nicotine pouches damage gums?
Nicotine pouches damage the gum tissue in our mouths. With the increased usage of nicotine pouches, gum disease, gum recession, and white patches (leukoplakia) become more prevalent, as well as tooth decay, bad breath, dry mouth, and bruxism. Nicotine causes vasoconstriction, causing decreased healing.
In the post I linked below, you can read all about the effects on gum tissues and all the information I discuss with my patients.
I touch on irreversible gum disease, gum recession, dry mouth, bad breath, staining and how to prevent this damage from occurring!
Tips to reduce gum recession while using nicotine pouches
- Change the location of the pouch, so it is not always used in the same spot.
- Keep your mouth still; talking and moving your mouth will increase rubbing on the gum tissue.
- An obvious one; reduce the number of pouches you use.
- Hydrate your mouth and keep it lubricated. You can do this with saliva substitutes, xylitol gums/mints, and frequent drinking of water.
- Maintain your oral hygiene routine to reduce inflammation and gum disease that can cause gum recession. Reducing the bacteria in the mouth is key. That’s why I always recommend using an electric toothbrush with a pressure sensor and flossing. You can find the best products that I recommend to my patients and use myself here on my adult dental resources page!
Preventing damage is the best and cheapest way to maintain your oral health. As dental issues progress and advance into more serious stages, it becomes much more expensive to treat and fix (if it even can be fixed).
Talk with your dental professional, and don’t forget to book a hygiene appointment! Regular dental hygiene appointments to remove/reduce the harmful biofilm in the mouth will prevent many issues that could arise.
I hope I have answered the questions you were looking for!
Have a wonderful day,