Vaping is still quite new and there are still many things that people disagree on. One is whether vaping is good or bad for your teeth.
This is a tricky subject, because there are elements of truth in each camp. Because you are not using tar or tobacco in e-cigarettes, many people assume that you won’t get the same side effects as smoking tobacco.
But the nicotine in vape juice can still cause problems for your smile. In this blog post we try to settle this argument once and for all.
What does smoking do to your teeth?
As well as damaging the rest of your body, smoking tobacco damages your teeth and harms your oral health.
According to the American Dental Association, tar and nicotine in smoking tobacco can cause stained teeth. It can also cause bad breath and loss of taste and, because smoking tobacco causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, it can lead to gum disease too.
Some dental associations recommend that dental clinicians support people to quit tobacco, which is why your dentist may have asked you about tobacco usage and offered advice.
Is vaping better for your teeth?
Let’s look at some of the evidence.
In a clinical study involving 110 tobacco smokers who switch to e-cigarettes, dental experts examined vapers teeth after 60 and 120 days to track progress.
The participants, who had previously smoked an average of 20 cigarettes a day, saw their tooth and gum health improve dramatically after switching to e-cigarettes.
Researchers “observed a constant reduction bacterial plaque on teeth surfaces” in all of the former smokers. There were also improvements in gum bleeding and other measures of oral health.
In a self-assessment test, the subjects also unanimously reported an improvement in their smell and taste, with no vapers reporting a worsening.
The researchers suggested that the improvements could be due to the fact that the subjects were now only taking on nicotine and not tobacco, reducing the oral side-effects of smoking tobacco and the severity of smoke-related oral diseases.
Does vaping damage your teeth?
Studies have shown that nicotine does harm your mouth, gums and tongue and can lead to the development of gingivitis and periodontitis, which can cause bad breath and inflammation.
It doesn’t matter if you are taking the nicotine in through tobacco cigarettes, e-cigarettes or another method – it can still cause damage to your oral health and other parts of the body.
Because it is relatively new, there may be other longer-term oral side effects to vaping that we are not aware of.
Looking after your teeth when you vape
You can take some simple steps to lower the risk of damage to your smile.
- Drink plenty of water – Everybody should follow this advice, but particularly vapers. Many of the potential risks to oral health centre on dehydration so it’s important you keep your fluid levels topped up. Drinking lots of water is also good for your skin and can help you think clearly.
- Switch to low or no-nicotine eliquid – since nicotine seems to be the source of the problem with nicotine, one way to limit the risk to your oral health is to vape using low or no-nicotine e-liquid. Be careful though, this strategy could backfire if you don’t get a strong enough nicotine hit and are tempted to fall back on tobacco cigarettes.
- Brush better – this is nothing you’ve not heard before. Brushing at least twice a day will minimize your risk of developing an oral health problem. You may also want to pay closer attention to your teeth and visit your dentist more frequently because nicotine can mask some of the signs of gum disease
Read more at vaping.com