With more and more people choosing to make the switch from traditional cigarettes to e-cigarettes there is understandably a lot of questions about vaping and oral health.
Although there haven’t been that many studies carried out on the effects of vaping, there is tons of research into smoking and tobacco.
Hopefully by comparing what we know about the differences between smoking and vaping we can get a rough idea of what’s going on with our oral hygiene.
Is vaping bad for your teeth?
What we will try to dispel in this article:
- Vaping gives you bad breath
- E-Cigarettes make your teeth yellow
- Vaping causes gum disease
- Vaping causes mouth cancer
- Vaping is bad for your oral health
Let’s look at the four things you need to know about vaping and your oral hygiene:
1. Does vaping give you bad breath?
Smokers have notoriously bad breath, the particles and chemicals in tobacco smoke can remain in your mouth and lungs for a long time. These are one of the leading causes of bad breath. The hot gas inhaled when smoking cigarettes also dries out the mouth which helps anaerobic oral bacteria reproduce causing halitosis. Ewww.
Vaping on the other hand produces no particulate matter and so doesn’t cause bad breath. Although vaping does create hot gasses and dryness these can be mitigated by making sure you stay hydrated.
2. Do e-cigarettes make your teeth yellow?
Smoking can cause a yellow staining of your teeth. This is mainly from the nicotine and tar in the tobacco. Even though tooth enamel is extremely hard it does contain tiny pores, and it is these small holes that the tar can get stuck in. After a while a build-up of tar and nicotine leads to a discolouration normally a yellow or brownish in colour. After years of heavy smoking these can become near impossible to remove.
Luckily E liquid is only heated and not burnt and so produces none of the sticky brown tar common with smoking. This means there is a much lower chance of any staining taking place. Which is definitely something to smile about.
3. Does vaping cause gum disease?
Gum disease is a serious problem and smokers are at twice the risk of it. This is because when you smoke you weaken your immune system and your body’s ability to fight infection. Also a build-up of calculus around the base of the tooth can be a breeding ground for bacteria this can then spread leading to periodontal (gum) disease. Once the damage is done a smoker’s tissue takes longer to recover making it harder for your body to heal itself.
Again, responsible use of an e-cigarette doesn’t cause tissue damage, it doesn’t slow tissue regeneration or cause calculus to build up. Meaning you will be at a much lower risk of gum disease.
4. Does vaporising cause mouth cancer?
The truth is we don’t know yet. What we do know is that when smoking DNA is damaged including the key genes that protect us from cancer. Many of the chemicals commonly found in cigarettes (over 70) also make this damage much worse, for example chromium makes poisons stick more strongly to DNA, increasing the chances of serious damage.
Most of these chemicals are absent from e-liquid therefore greatly reducing the chance of DNA damage taking place. In fact, these levels have been found to be so low that Public Health England estimate that e-cigarettes are ‘around 95% safer than smoking’.
While we may not know for a few more years the true scientific health effects of vaping. What we do know for certain is that it is far better for your oral health, teeth, gums and breath than smoking. And for all of us who are trying to quit smoking and take better care of our bodies it is surely a step in the right direction.