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Vaping & Oral Health

It’s common knowledge that smoking causes major oral and dental problems but, can vaping cause the same issues? Or just as bad? While research has shown that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking it’s no wonder many people are making the switch. However, it’s important to know that vaping can have an impact on oral and dental health that shouldn’t be overlooked. Being aware of this can help you save the money would have spent on buying cigarettes being blown at the dentist!

What happens in the mouth when you smoke or vape?

Nicotine and tar harms mouth health by decreasing blood circulation through gum tissue and restricts connective tissue turnover. While vaping doesn’t contain tar, e-liquids do contain Propylene Glycol (PG), Vegetable Glycerin (VG) and some contain nicotine. These three ingredients can still cause potential damage to teeth and gums.

Propylene Glycol: when vaped breaks down into acids that damages tooth enamel. It also absorbs water from the body causing dry mouth and dehydration.

Vegetable Glycerin: is slightly sticky and that helps bacteria and other food and drink ingredients stick to the surface of the tooth.

Nicotine: by far is the worst culprit! Because it decreases blood circulation and also allows bacteria to build up.

What happens when bacteria builds up in the mouth? 

  • Yellowing/stained teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Reduced taste bud sensitivity causing lack of taste
  • Dry mouth
  • Mouth sores
  • Reduction in saliva production
  • Poor gum health and diseases such as gingivitis and inflammation
  • Tooth decay

Bad Things for Your Teeth

It’s important to note that it’s not just smoking and vaping that cause teeth staining and teeth issues. The following are just a few other main offenders: 

  • Coffee and tea
  • Alcohol, especially red wine
  • Tomato-based sauces
  • Balsamic vinegar and soy sauce
  • Bananas and berries
  • Fruit juices, fizzy and sports drinks
  • Sugar and candy

Generally overtime enamel gradually wears down and gets thinner making it even more easier for issues to take hold. So its important to keep in mind that anything that causes bacteria to build up and gunk stick to teeth can cause staining and decay. As we already consume many items that can cause staining, smoking and vaping (especially with nicotine) can accelerate the staining and decaying process.

So is Vaping Just as Bad on Teeth?

With all the information above, is vaping just as bad on teeth as smoking? The answer you’re probably already thinking is yes but surprisingly it isn’t as bad as you think. E-liquid doesn’t produce tar, smoke or other nasty chemicals that are produced when smoking traditional tobacco products. Tar and smoke from traditional cigarettes massively increases and accelerates staining and decay. However, studies have shown e-liquid that contains nicotine can also increase mouth and teeth issues. Vaping may not accelerate these as much as smoking, however, over time and if you don’t take care of your teeth, problems may occur. 

Keep Your Mouth Healthy!

As always, you should never overlook dental health as its important regardless if you vape or smoke. If you are a vaper and you care about your teeth here are tips to help slow and prevent excessive oral issues: 

  • Always drink plenty of water when vaping, this will help prevent dry mouth and dehydration.
  • Chewing gum that contains xylitol to stimulate more saliva, a natural mouth cleansing defence.
  • Eating crunchy vegetables and fruit, also natural stain fighters.
  • Brush your teeth morning and night (preferably with an electric toothbrush). 
  • See your dentist as much as they recommend. 

 

Further information *Disclaimer 

*This blog is just general information only and should not be taken as direct health advice. Always consult your dentist or dental hygienist if you have any issues or concerns.