For many, the first positive benefit that you can enjoy when you switch from cigarettes to vaping is no more stained teeth and foul breath! That alone is motivation to make the change for some. For others, the actual impact of vaping on oral health is an important subject to become educated about.
Lately, there has been a lot of misinformation being shared regarding vaping and oral health. This was an opportunity to take a deeper look and see what is real or what is hype. Most of the information found lacked research or validity. Personal opinions, even from professionals is not enough to be fact. Those with a critical mind look closely at the facts, just like what we have done here.
The fact is that many feel better after switching from tobacco to vaping and little attention is paid to the teeth and gums of those who vape. Most focus on how the switch is 95% safer for respiratory issues and cancer. However, our dental well-being does matter, and thus it is important to know whether vaping is harmful to your oral health too, especially if your use nicotine. Here is what we do know is one of the biggest concerns for those who vape.
- Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, which constricts the arteries and can reduce the amount of nutrient and oxygenated blood that flows to the gums. Studies indicate that nicotine does cause recession of the gums and make them more susceptible to gum disease including periodontitis and gingivitis.
- Nicotine has also been identified as a muscle stimulant, which can cause teeth grinders to intensify that harmful activity, especially at night. Look for flattening of the tooth, pain the jaw, tooth sensitivity, and headaches.
- Heat from vapor combined with the vasoconstrictive properties of nicotine can lead to xerostomia or dry mouth. This is perhaps the most common side effect of vaping
- Some dentists complain that nicotine delivery from vaping may be hiding many of the symptoms to identify the presence of gum disease in their patients. Like bleeding gums or swelling.
Of course, those effects are the result of nicotine and not necessarily just vaping-related. In fact, for vapers who use liquids with zero nicotine content. Those issues shouldn’t be a concern.
The good news is that vaping liquid nicotine is less addictive than smoking according to a Penn State College of Medicine study. Another important benefit is there’s no direct evidence that vaping stains teeth or causes cavities. Less nicotine and better-looking teeth are great reasons to keep vaping.
It is important to recognize that the health of your gums can be an issue when you vape. As with any nicotine product passing your lips, the chance it will absorb into your gums. You can do some things to help prevent the decline of your oral health if you vape.
You should continue to have regular dental check-ups to screen for potential vascular effects on your gums, and possible gingivitis and other conditions. This is true for everyone whether you smoke or not. Know your family history for gum disease and discuss this as well with your dentist.
Heat and nicotine are the real enemies of your teeth. Lower the wattage and try to reduce the amount of nicotine you vape over time. If you notice problems use over the counter mouth rinses or talk with your dentists about ways to treat your dry mouth.
Use a good common sense approach to your oral health. Remember to always brush, floss, and see your dentist regularly. Vaping is less harmful than smoking, but you still need to take good care of your teeth. You should have every reason to smile because vaping is better than cigarette smoking, plain and simple, and your teeth thank you!