Smoking is widely known to be bad for your teeth and oral health, but what about vaping? Vaping has become increasingly popular over recent years and was billed as a helpful way for smokers to quit their habit.

While vaping is less harmful than smoking, it is still unsafe, and these devices pose a significant risk to oral health. Studies are ongoing because a lot is still unknown about its long-term effects, but there is evidence that users need to pay particular attention to their oral health. Our expert team at Whitehall House Dental Practice explain more.

How do vapes work?

Vapes or e-cigarettes heat a liquid that generates an aerosol that is inhaled and exhaled by the user. This e-liquid comprises different ingredients, including glycerine, water, nicotine, and propylene glycol. The device consists of a battery, mouthpiece, heating component and cartridge for the liquid. The chemicals of this liquid are increasingly believed to cause problems.

What issues can vaping cause?

We know that vaping causes excess bacteria in the mouth. One study in 2018 found that teeth exposed to vaping carried a four-fold increase in the amount of bacteria than those that had not. This was more noticeable in the pits and crevices of the teeth. Excess bacteria in the mouth is associated with gum diseases, cavities, and tooth decay. Many e-cigarette flavourings are sweet and have similar chemical and physical properties to high-sugar drinks and foods.

Another study in 2020 found that the bacteria found in the mouths of people who vaped acted similarly to those who smoked cigarettes.

Can it make your mouth dry and your gums inflamed?

Yes, some vaping liquids can cause mouth dryness because the chemicals in the substance make the immune system work harder. Its medical name is Xerostomia. This is also associated with mouth sores, bad breath, and tooth decay.

Vaping will disrupt saliva production, dehydrating the gums and increasing any user’s chances of developing plaque. The bacteria feed on this plaque leading to tooth decay and premature ageing.

Can vaping cause oral cancer?

Although e-cigarettes are less toxic than traditional cigarettes, they contain chemicals that could carry an oral cancer risk. One 2018 study found that vaping increases levels of DNA-damaging chemicals, such as formaldehyde and acrolein, in saliva.

Will vaping stain my teeth?

Tar and nicotine in cigarettes lead directly to tooth straining. E-cigarettes do not contain tar, but they still contain nicotine, so they will cause tooth discolouration. There are some low-nicotine versions.

What can I do to improve my oral hygiene?

If you vape, keeping your mouth hydrated and brushing and flossing twice a day is important. We recommend regular visits to the dentist to ensure your oral health is in good condition and there are no signs of dental cavities. Our dentists can also screen for lesions and inflammation.

Do you need to take better care of your oral health?

If you have any other questions about dental hygiene and vaping, our dentists can answer your questions. We can be reached on 01258 857 789. Alternatively, fill out a contact form, and we will get back to you.

We offer cosmetic and general dentistry at our dentists near Wimborne.