Understanding the impact of vaping on oral health

November 6, 2023

Vaping has become a popular alternative to traditional smoking, with many people turning to e-cigarettes as a perceived safer option. But vaping carries its own risks that can negatively impact your overall and oral health, and it’s essential to be aware of them before you choose whether to continue to vape.  

The basics of vaping 

Vaping involves inhaling a vaporized aerosol produced by an electronic device, typically an e-cigarette. This vapor often contains nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals. While vaping is considered by some to be less harmful than smoking, it is not without its share of concerns, especially when it comes to oral health. 

Oral health issues caused by vaping 

Dry Mouth: One of the most common oral health issues associated with vaping is dry mouth. The aerosol produced by e-cigarettes can reduce saliva production, leading to a dry, uncomfortable feeling in the mouth. Saliva plays a crucial role in maintaining oral health by rinsing away harmful bacteria and aiding in digestion. 

Gum Disease: Nicotine in e-cigarettes can have detrimental effects on gum health. It reduces blood flow to the gums, making them more susceptible to infections and gum disease. Over time, this can lead to periodontal issues and tooth loss. 

Tooth Sensitivity: Some vaping liquids contain acidic flavorings, which can erode tooth enamel. This can result in increased tooth sensitivity, making hot and cold foods and drinks uncomfortable to consume. 

Bad Breath: The combination of dry mouth and the presence of chemicals in vaping aerosols can contribute to bad breath. This unpleasant side effect can be bothersome both for the vaper and those around them. 

Tooth Decay: The sweet flavorings in vaping liquids can attract bacteria that cause tooth decay. Without proper oral hygiene and dental care, vapers are at risk of developing cavities and other dental problems. 

Oral Lesions: There have been reports of oral lesions and ulcers associated with vaping. While the exact causes are not fully understood, some ingredients in e-cigarettes could contribute to these issues. 

Staying healthy 

It's important to remember that this information is not meant to be judgmental but rather to help individuals make informed choices regarding vaping. If you're a vaper or considering vaping, here are some tips to maintain better oral health: 

  • Stay hydrated: Combat dry mouth by drinking plenty of water to help maintain adequate saliva production. 

  • Choose your E-liquid wisely: Choose E-liquids with fewer acidic flavorings and without nicotine to reduce the risk of gum disease and tooth sensitivity. 

  • Maintain good oral hygiene: Regularly brush and floss your teeth to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. 

  • Visit the dentist: Regular dental check-ups can help catch and address oral health issues early, ensuring long-term dental health. 

What to know about vaping 

Vaping may lessen some risks compared to traditional smoking, but it is essential to be aware of the potential oral health issues it can cause. This information is not intended to judge your choices but to help you make informed decisions about your health. By understanding the risks and taking steps to mitigate them, you can better protect your oral health while vaping.