The Effects of Vaping on Oral Health and Teeth

As dentists, we are now seeing firsthand the effects of vaping on the teeth and gums and it’s crucial to raise awareness about these issues. Let’s delve into the effects of vaping on teeth:

Dry Mouth

Vaping commonly significantly reduces saliva production. Dry mouth can increase the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues because saliva plays a crucial role in neutralizing acids, washing away food particles, and maintaining the health of the oral tissues. Without an adequate amount of saliva, the oral environment becomes more hospitable to bacteria and plaque, leading to an increased risk of cavities and gum inflammation.

Slower healing and Gum Disease

Many vaping products contain nicotine which impairs the body’s ability to fight infections and slows down the healing process. Nicotine can also contribute to gum recession, periodontal disease, and delayed wound healing after dental procedures.

Teeth Discolouration

Vaping liquids consist of ingredients such as propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin which contain pigments that adhere to the enamel of the teeth, leading to staining and discolouration of teeth over time.

Oral Irritation and Tissue Damage

The heat and chemicals produced during vaping can irritate the lips, cheek, tongue, and throat. Prolonged exposure to these irritants can lead to tissue damage, inflammation, and in severe cases, the development of oral lesions or sores.

Impact on Dental Work

Vaping can have negative effects on existing dental work, such as fillings, crowns, and veneers. The chemicals in vaping liquids can interact with dental materials and contribute to deterioration or discoloration of dental restorations. This can compromise the longevity and appearance of dental work, requiring additional maintenance or replacement sooner than expected.

Time to ditch the vape if you haven’t!

Written by: Dr Kyle Lye