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The Oral Health Impacts Of Vaping

Smoking has jumped on the digital wagon by introducing electronic cigarettes. Popularly known as e-cigarette or e-cig, the handheld electronic device is becoming more and more popular especially as substitute to the conventional cigarettes which are known for their adverse on peoples’ health including the oral health.

And so the question remains:

Is vaping bad for your teeth?

The answer is yes. Although not as harmful as its predecessor, e-cigarettes are not risk-free.

Vaping can cause gum disease

Just like smoking cigarettes, vaping can cause gum problems due to the ingestion of nicotine.

Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor compound, meaning it has the potential to prompt the muscular wall of the blood vessels to contract. These contraction can lead to reduced blood flow which will eventual lead to a higher risk of gum disease development as a result of the prolonged decline of oxygen and nutrient supply.

Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Inflamed or bleeding gums
  • Redness, tenderness, or swelling of gums
  • Loose or wobbly teeth
  • Gum recession
  • Tooth loss

Does vaping make your teeth yellow?

Luckily for those who vape and are conscious of stained teeth — Vaping does not discolor the teeth.

How bad is vaping to overall health?

Aside from its negative implication on the gums, using e-cigarettes is bad to other parts of the body including the throat, heart, lungs, among others.

Have you ever wondered:

Why does vaping hurt your throat?

Unlike cigarettes where the concentrated amounts of nicotine combined with the tar found in cigarettes help increase saliva production as your body’s way of protecting your mouth’s epithelial cells from the heat, e-cigarettes do not do the same. Instead, vaping does the opposite because of the propylene glycol, a synthetic organic compound which is colorless, nearly odorless, and has a faintly sweet taste.

Propylene glycol gather up the air moisture as well as in the mouth when you inhale that a sore or dry throat and mouth with a slight mouth may be experienced. This condition is common among new users of e-cigarettes who are trying to quit smoking.

Does vaping cause cancer?

According to a research published in the Pediatrics journal, smoking e-cigarettes can deliver cancer-causing chemicals into the body. In the research conducted by a team of researchers from the University of California, it was found that high levels of cancer-causing chemicals are present in the bodies of those who vape than nonsmokers.

Can vaping affect your lungs?

Moreover, diacetyl, a cancer-causing chemical blamed for “popcorn lung”, a nickname for bronchiolitis obliterans, was found in e-cigarette vapor. “Popcorn lung” damages the smallest airways of the lungs, causing cough and shortness of breath.

However, be reminded that e-cigarettes and vaping are relatively new and studies on them remain limited. Extensive study and research on the health effects of e-cigarettes and vaping are needed to fully establish its effects on the body.

How Does Vaping Work?

With all the health impacts that vaping can cause, it is best to know how e-cigarettes work to better understand the implications.

Electronic cigarettes are powered by a battery. Its intricate mechanism is comprised of a heating component and a cartridge where nicotine and other flavorings are lodged. The battery heat the liquid which will then be vaporized and turned into an inhalable vapor.

Rather than the conventional combustion system of analog cigarettes that involves tobacco, fire, and the emission of harmful chemicals, e-cigs automatically converts nicotine into vapor. The extenuated term used for the use of e-cig is called “vaping”.

The manufacturers and retailers of e-cigarettes claim that the product is a cleaner and healthier therapeutic alternative to help smokers kick the habit. In the absence of any proven scientific study to back this contention, it is always ideal to avoid smoking or vaping altogether and just stick with FDA-approved anti-smoking strategies.

Regardless of whether it poses less harmful effects to one’s health than conventional cigarettes, experts concur that they are by no means safe. Nicotine inhalation puts the person’s dental health and overall well-being at risk.

If you have any question about how e-cigarette specifically can affect your gums, teeth, and that beautiful smile, consult your dentist right away. Your trusted professional will be your partner in making sound and informed dental decision.

Hawaii Family Dental has been providing dental services to the whole state of Hawaii since 1986.

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Disclaimer: The oral health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. Hawaii Family Dental strongly recommends to always consult licensed dentists or other qualified health care professionals for any questions concerning your oral health.

References: 

  • Burgess, K. (2013, September 27). Should You Worry About Second-Hand E-Cig Vapors? Retrieved from Prevention: https://www.prevention.com/health/healthy-living/should-you-worry-about-second-hand-e-cig-vapors
  • Pereira, D. (2014, August 15). Electronic cigarettes and oral health. Retrieved from Clinicas Propdental SL: https://www.propdental.es/en/blog/dentistry/electronic-cigarettes-oral-health/
  • https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/teen-inhale-cancer-causing-chemicals-e-cigarettes-n853611
  • https://www.webmd.com/lung-cancer/vaping-lung-cancer
  • https://www.webmd.com/lung/popcorn-lung#1

17 thoughts on “The Oral Health Impacts Of Vaping

  1. Skwurl - January 17, 2015

    I’m a former smoker, trudging the path of the vapor- a vape(r) by default I guess. I was smoking a pack & a half a day when I started vaping. I tried just cutting down on cigarettes (vaping in between) but realized that it wasn’t going to work that way. Finally decided that I’d need to force myself to vape when I had a cig craving. After just 2 days of forcing my body to accept a different method of nicotine administration, it was no longer an issue.

    I’m very in tune with my body (I know in going to be sick 3 days before I actually feel sick) & I could tell it was craving something. This is when I realized at least some of the other chemicals in cigarettes were also addictive.

    Of course this realization made me even more “gung ho” about vaping, & even became part of my argument “for” vaping.
    It’s been over a year since I’ve had a cigarette, & I’ll admit there’s an overall difference, it’s not massive but it’s definitely there- especially in my lungs. BUT- I’ve noticed a few adverse effects in the year since the switch.

    1. For a while I was consistently very very tired. That’s gone away now, but it was quite irritating at the time.
    2. Because there are so many delicious flavors, my tendency had become to vape constantly. It took a conscious drive to slow down.
    3. Vaping makes you very thirsty. It’s like it just sucks the water from your body.
    4. Because of number 3, your mouth dries out and “cotton mouth” is a constant issue.
    5. Because of number 4, breath can get bad if you don’t drink tons of water throughout the day.
    6. This of course brings us to the main issue of the article above-There is obvious (mortifying in fact) tooth decay along my gum line.

    I have good oral hygiene habits, so this is very disappointing. Whether anyone will read this whole thing or not, I obviously don’t know, but I felt a duty to mention that not only will nicotine cause tooth decay, dry mouth will too. Vaping WILL give you dry mouth.

    I’m very upset about the results of my teeth, but I guess it’s a big health risk any time you choose to be a guinea pig through consumption.
    I can honestly say that because of the lack of the other chemicals, it is much easier to quit vaping than it is smoking. Using this as a method to quit all together would be better than not quitting smoking, but it’s truly no better for you in the long run, so just get away from the nicotine if you care about your health & appearance.

  2. Five Pawns - January 18, 2015

    Vaping is defined as the act of inhaling water vapor through a personal vaporizer or electronic cigarette. When users draw on the device, the battery heats the liquid, which is then atomized into an inhalable vapor.

  3. Chad - September 18, 2015

    I agree with Skwurl. Vaping is far worse for gums/teeth than smoking. Way way worse. Nicotine not only is a vasoconstrictor, but it also inhibits osteoblast (bone) formation. Also, VG/PG are hydrophilic, and suck moisture out of the gums. Additionally, vaping doesn’t have the “ok, i’m getting sick, my blood is full of crap, enough!” feeling that tobacco provides, so vaping easily becomes a non-stop activity, doing far more damage to the mouth than smoking. The trick to vaping in the future will be to find the “satiation” chemical that puts a willing end to vaping after a few puffs. I mentioned this on the big ecig formum, theorizing the harmines/harmalines might do the trick, and was immediately banned 🙂 All-in-all, vaping is 100x worse for the mouth than smoking.

  4. Seanie - March 7, 2016

    Chad, maybe you was banned from the website for posting comments like “Vaping is far worse for gums/teeth than smoking. Way way worse. ”
    and “All-in-all, vaping is 100x worse for the mouth than smoking.”
    Use some logic next time. Ive been vaping now for the better part of a year and my teeth and in excellent condition. There is proof everywhere the extreme damage smoking can do to your teeth/organs. But we just have to take your word on the unproven drivel that you are spewing.

  5. Ann - July 2, 2016

    I spent over 15,000 dollars on my teeth since 2006. I got braces for 2 years, whitening, you name it. I have ALWAYS been picky about my teeth. I take very good care of them and always have. After I started vaping my oral health went downhill. Yes I had dry mouth, then periodontal disease which was stubborn and in still fighting it after 2 years from diagnosis. My teeth are rotting at the gum line even though I’ve taken extra good care of my teeth. It may be too late for a few of my teeth.

    I fear I’m heading for dentures. Something I didn’t think I’d face since I took special care to be buried with my perfect teeth. All that money and special care for nothing. I am so upset. Vaping needs to get better, they should keep getting better, everyone in every industry is looking to improve upon themselves. What’s the vaping industries problem? Quit worrying so much about the tanks and mods, perfect your juices.

    I can have the greatest and best looking mod of anyone but the juice tastes have a long way to go and the safety of our teeth and gums. As more people start having problems people are going to leave the vaping behind and I guarantee you there will be something new on the market down the line. Because in America in this day and age people want perfect smiles. You’re ruining them.

  6. waleed - July 20, 2016

    the bad smell is caused by the glycol and glycerin that is in the e liquid , cause sugar in general when exposed to the mouth it brings the kitton bodies ,which is produced even in cases of diabetes , which is acidic , thats why your mouth becomes acidic and smelly like the diabetic patients ,and vaping may lead to gingivitis or gum cavities caused y the change in the normal ph in the mouth .
    that doesnt mean vaping is bad , it just means that vaping is like taking a spoon of sugar and keeping the sugar in your mouth for too long .
    some new technology in the toothpaste field started inviting toothpaste that neutralize the ph and get rid of the kiton bodies like (colgate – sugar neutralizer )
    am a vaper and that was going to make me stoping vaping , but this new tech solved it for me .

    http://www.colgate.co.uk/app/ColgateOralCare/Toothpaste/ColgateMaximumCavityProtection/UK/EN/Home/Technology.cwsp

    blaming everything on cutting of the cigs isnt true , its just a little factor ,but the vg pg is the true cause +the extra heat that is in the vape

  7. Josh - August 30, 2016

    I usually vape in my house or in my car. Vaping for sure dries my mouth out. Biggest tell-tale sign is feeling the pockets where my gums and teeth my feel super dry and exposed. Same dryness on the roof of my mouth.

  8. S.C. - October 22, 2016

    I’ve been vaping for around 3 yrs now, and I’ve always had very strong, beautiful terth, but for the past yr or so, I’ve had continuous problems with my teeth decaying, and shedding of the roof of my mouth. Sometimes it can be unbearable it hurts so much! I know it’s from my vaping habit. I do vape a lot more than I did smoke, but it’s like I crave my e cig constantly. I’m at the highest level of nicotine, so it’s not an option to go up higher. I’m extremely nervous about trying to give up vaping, but I’ve had 2 root canals, and need several more, and no one can tell me it’s not from the e cig. I’ve also seen how horribly stained the backs of my teeth are..it’s done a number on my mouth. I have also noticed I get shortness of breath a lot faster than i did as a smoker. It’s crazy, I am convinced it’s not much safer at all..

  9. lily - November 11, 2016

    Seriously, although I agree with this article that nicotine is bad for your teeth, it is better than smoking a cigarette and that is a proven fact. I used vaping to quit smoking and it was the only thin that ever worked. I then focused on lowering the nicotine level in my vaping juice and tapered down to zero. I am now nicotine free. Instead of scaring people about vaping, this author should focus on tips to quit vaping. You cant not taper down the nicotine on cigarettes and anybody saying that cigarettes are better for you is either working for “big tobacco” or a moron.

  10. Stephen oconnell - November 14, 2016

    I used to smoke heavily and have some periodontal disease as a result. I started vaping as an alternative for about a month with dramatically horrible results. My gums started bleeding and rapidly receding even more. Some of this is due to stopping smoking and stopping nicotine in my vaping liquid. But there is no doubt in my mind vaping made things ten times worse . I have stooped smoking for years before without such radical effects so vaping has definitely made the problem worse very quickly. I no longer smoke and I can’t risk vaping again. My gums are still recovering.

  11. Sandstargrl - December 31, 2016

    So if I vapr with a non nicotine liquid, wear a patch to qu it nicotine, my teeth will be worse? I just spent $ 6000 on an implant. It’s healing. Help…I’m trying to quit.

  12. Joe - July 12, 2017

    This article doesn’t answer the question to those of us who vape with zero nicotine e-liquid. It assumes we all only use e-cigs with nicotine.

  13. teagan - July 30, 2017

    okay, guys i’ve always messed around with my friends vapes. they’re honestly a really good stress reliever and i’m going into college to become a physicians assistant and i think it’d help me with the stress of school. BUT i’m literally terrified of tooth decay, rotting teeth and yellow teeth are y BIGGEST F*****G FEAR. i planned on getting a non-nicotine juice and i was wondering if that would still ruin my teeth?? SOS i need some feedback!

  14. larry - October 15, 2017

    after reading this, my pipe is going in the can. i been vaping about two month it all ready turn my teeth black and tung brown .thank you all for the information it was hard to fine this web page every one is in denile saying is not bed. they full of sh*t

  15. LottaLottie - November 23, 2017

    I have been vaping for around 3 weeks and exclusively for one week using the lowest level liquid (3mg/0.3%). My teeth and gums hsve began to ache and have become super sensitive. Ita looking like the vape is the cause of this, although i do recall something about tooth problems becoming more apparent when you first quit smoking. I used to smoke quite heavy before.

  16. Kittens - February 12, 2018

    I used to work in the vape industry for many years. So i love that i have seen so many people break away from tobacco using vaping as a tool to help with that. I myself like vaping so much that i never intended to quit once i started.

    One thing that was left out was the constant sucking motion is also very bad for oral health (like someone who constantly drinks through a straw). Of course everyone wants to say vaping is a safer alternative to smoking. Perhaps it should be viewed more as harm reduction than a “safe” alternative. Many years back they called cigarettes safe until testing proved otherwise.

    I’ve basically lost a tooth for every year i vaped. Go ahead and put that on a flyer. In a few years those anti-cigarette “the truth” ads will be all about vaping. The fact is when my dentist said if i did not stop vaping the condition of my oral health would continue to decline was a reality check. As a person who brushes and flosses 3 times a day its not like i neglect my tooth care.

  17. Tim - March 24, 2018

    When I smoked I tried vaping. Not bad but it just made want to smoke more. Same thing happened when I did snuff.

    One has to realize it’s all or nothing. It hit me one day going to drug store for prescription allergy medicine n across the street for weekly carton of sickarettes. Then I realized the money I was spending. Just the past week at my Doc he was telling me about Chantix. Next time at the doc I got my script for chantix. Made a date to quit and did it.

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