Vaping can have a detrimental impact on your teeth and overall oral health. That said, vaping tends to pose less risks to oral health than smoking cigarettes. Vaping and e-cigarette products have become increasingly popular over the last decade, but research has not yet caught up. Although studies are underway, there is still a lot we don’t know about its long-term impact. Read on to find out what we know about possible side effects, e-juice ingredients to avoid, and more.
Vaping and Your Teeth
It’s nicotine again. Not a friend of yours. Here are several clear explanations why vaping is bad for your teeth, gums, and overall oral health.
Nicotine inhibits the flow of blood, which in turn affects the teeth and gums. Without enough blood circulating through your veins, your gums will not get the oxygen and nutrients they need to remain healthy. Vaping causes the death of gum tissues, which in turn causes gum recession. Severely receding gums lead to irritation of the teeth, increased risk of cavities and in some cases, loss of teeth. One blow to vaping and to the protection of your teeth.
Dry mouth, bacteria, and loss of teeth
E-cigarette nicotine also lowers the saliva in your mouth. Lack of saliva contributes to dry mouth, build-up of plaque, increased bacteria, and eventually tooth decay. Strike two for steaming and tooth hygiene.
Bruxism and dental injury
Nicotine that is inhaled during vaping serves as a muscle stimulant. This can cause you to grit your teeth (bruxism) or make the issue worse if you’re already a tooth grinder. Grinding, gnashing or clenching your teeth daily causes damage to your teeth and other oral health problems.
How does vaping compare to smoking cigarettes?
A 2018 study by the National Academy of Sciences concluded that evidence shows that vaping presents less risks to oral health than cigarette smoking. This inference, however, was based on the limited research that was available. Research is ongoing, and over time, this stance can change.
One 2016 research Trusted Source included oral exams on individuals who switched from cigarette smoking to vaping. The transition to vaping was correlated with overall improvement in many oral health measures, including plaque levels and gum bleeding, researchers found.
Three groups of men in Saudi Arabia were contrasted in one 2017 study: a group who smoked cigarettes, a group who vaped, and a group who abstained from both. Researchers found that those who smoked cigarettes were more likely than those who vaped or abstained altogether to have higher plaque levels and self-reported gum pain.
It is worth noting, however that the participants who smoked cigarettes started smoking well before the vaping participants began vaping. This suggests that for a prolonged period of time, individuals who smoked cigarettes were exposed to higher nicotine levels. This may have distorted the findings.
Similar findings with regard to gum inflammation among people who smoke, people who vape, and people who abstain from both were documented in one 2018 prospective review. Researchers found that after ultrasonic cleaning, individuals who smoked experienced higher levels of inflammation than individuals who vaped or fully abstained.
In comparison, a 2016 pilot study showed that when they transitioned to vaping for a two-week period, gum inflammation actually increased among smokers with mild types of periodontal disease. With caution, these findings should be viewed. The sample size was small, and there was no comparative control group.
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