Vaping has swiftly become a “healthy” alternative to traditional nicotine cigarettes. While a 2018 review found that vaping, or e-cigarettes, pose less of an oral health concern than smoking traditional cigarettes, there are still potential side effects.
Our latest blog reveals the effects of vaping on your teeth and gums and how you can prevent permanent damage to your teeth.
What is vaping?
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.
Potentially harmful ingredients
Vapes use a liquid called ‘e-juice’ or ‘e-liquid’, which contain a number of ingredients that are known to have negative effects on your teeth and gums.
The major ingredients to look out for are nicotine, propylene glycol and menthol. These ingredients, especially nicotine, can prevent the production of saliva leading to a dry mouth. A 2014 study also found that the flavours in e-juice liquids can potentially damage oral cells. Find out the effects these ingredients have below.
The risks & effects of vaping on your teeth
Vaping doesn’t completely prevent the negative impacts on your oral health. The long and short-term side effects of vaping include:
- Excess bacteria – exposure to vape aerosols lead to tooth decay and cavities.
- Dry mouth – the propylene glycol can often lead to mouth dryness. A persistent dry mouth can be a cause of bad breath, mouth sores, and tooth decay.
- Inflamed gums and irritation – the vape aerosol can also cause tenderness and swelling in the gums which can be quite painful.
- Oral cell death and stunted regeneration – the increased inflammation of the gums can trigger oral cells to die and stagnate their regeneration which leads to various periodontal diseases.
Another thing to be mindful of is the risk of e-cigarette explosion. A vape explosion can be strong enough to break bones and dislodge teeth. If you are vaping, ensure your vape is equipped with safety features and replace it should it become damaged.
How to combat the effects of vaping
While vaping can impact your dental health, vigilance in your oral routine can help minimise potential damage.
Don’t risk unnecessary pain and dental work. Follow these steps to keep your smile protected:
- Limit your nicotine intake – If you can, choose low-nicotine or nicotine-free juices. This will help reduce the impact on teeth and gums.
- Drink water after you vape – Rehydrating after you vape will limit the risk of dry mouth.
- Brush your teeth daily – Brushing twice a day will ensure plaque and bacteria is removed and gums are kept healthy.
- Making flossing a daily habit – Flossing removes plaque stuck between teeth that a toothbrush might miss.
- Make regular dental appointments – Be sure to visit your dentist at least twice a year for a check-up and clean. Your dentist will be able to detect any possible problems early on and treat them before they get worse.
Whilst vaping might be a better option than traditional cigarettes, it doesn’t completely prevent the negative impacts on your oral health.
If you vape frequently, it’s important you visit your dentist regularly to keep an eye on your oral health and reduce the impacts of vaping.Leave a reply →