Everyone knows that smoking can wreak havoc on your oral health. Smoking cigarettes can cause cosmetic issues like staining your teeth an ugly yellow. It can also cause gum diseases which in turn can cause entire teeth to be lost. Overall, smoking is a nightmare for your teeth, but what about vaping? Vaping has been hailed as a much safer alternative to traditional smoking, but how does it hold up when it comes to teeth health?
Vaping still contains nicotine
Most vapers use e-juice that contains nicotine, which is known to constrict blood vessels. Nicotine is responsible for gum recession and an overall weakening of oral health. With a restricted blood flow, vital nutrients and oxygen have a more difficult time reaching soft tissue areas of the mouth. Without these nutrients, cell death in the mouth accelerates.
Various thinners are used to prepare e-juices, including propylene glycol. It’s this thinner that contributes to what many vapers call the “dry mouth” effect. Propylene glycol is a hygroscopic compound that scoops up all the water from its surroundings. Having a dry mouth may seem like nothing more than an inconvenience, but it can actually be dangerous. Dry mouth leaves you more vulnerable to gum disease and can exacerbate tooth decay.
Our mouths are full of bacteria at the best of times, and research has shown that vaping potentially increases the quantity of harmful bacteria in the mouth. And since nicotine weakens the mouth’s ability to fight off infections, that extra bacteria has a higher chance of causing serious harm like soft tissue infections and tooth decay.
Ongoing research into how vaping affects your teeth
Overall, vaping seems to pose fewer oral health risks than smoking, but the risks are still there. One of the biggest gaps in the research is time. Vaping simply hasn’t been around long enough for any long-term studies to help us get a firm grasp on the scope of certain health risks. Current research suggests that when it comes to mouth health, vaping is still preferable to smoking. However, there are still potential health ramifications associated with vaping, and the addition of nicotine to e-juice seems to compound these risks.
So, is vaping good or bad for your teeth? The answer is both. Compared to not vaping or smoking at all, vaping is clearly bad for your teeth. But if you are making the switch from smoking, vaping could potentially lessen your risk of tooth and gum problems.