Smoking damages health in many ways. After years as a smoker, the lungs and cardiovascular system are usually affected, which is also explained by warnings on cigarette packs. However, smoking also puts your teeth at risk. Especially those who reach for a cigarette more often are characterized by yellow or brown discoloured plaque penetrating deep into the tooth enamel. Often not even professional tooth cleaning or bleaching can help. You have to say goodbye to the bright white smile. But while smokers are already expected to have yellowish nicotine stains on their teeth, there is little information on how e-cigarettes behave. Many well-versed vapers might remark that nicotine is colourless in its pure form and is unlikely to pose a problem. As with the many harmful substances that come from burning tobacco, it seems that vaping is safer in terms of health and dental health. But since the e-cigarette is still a relatively new invention, we lack studies that show long-term results for clear statements. To do educational work, we want to compile all the facts about vaping and dental health in this article. So if you’ve always wondered whether vaping is bad for your teeth, you’ll surely know more afterwards.
How Does Smoking Damage Your Teeth?
To understand exactly what the risk of vaping might be, it is first necessary to understand how traditional tobacco harm dental health. Even if there are many fundamental differences between the e-cigarette and the conventional cigarette, the consumer exposes his mouth to nicotine and other chemicals when using them. With cigarettes, these are in the smoke and with e-cigarettes in fine droplets.
The relative likelihood of dental problems is significantly higher in smokers than in people who have never smoked or quit smoking. In numerical terms, a person who is a smoker at the time of the study is four times more likely to have poor dental health than someone who has never smoked. Smokers are also at least twice as likely to simultaneously have three or more dental problems.
So many different dental problems can result from smoking regularly because smoking affects oral health in several ways. This affects discolouration of the teeth and even extends to forms of cancer in the oral cavity. Tartar also builds up faster than if you didn’t smoke a cigarette. But smoking weakens the immune system and plays a role in the teeth. The smallest injuries in the mouth and throat no longer heal as easily or become inflamed more quickly.
Studies On Vapers
Many studies on the potential risks of vaping to dental health are problematic because they are conducted in a test tube environment. How an isolated substance reacts with a bunch of cells usually provides little information about the actual behaviour of substances in the human body. However, another study specifically looked at the dental health of vapers. The results found here were also primarily positive. It has been studied in detail how switching from cigarettes to e-cigarettes affects dental health after several months. At the beginning of the examination, 85% still had abnormalities in the oral cavity. Switching to e-cigarettes was able to reduce this significantly. Not only plaque but also bleeding gums could be reduced. Even if the results vary here, the overall message is clear that switching to e-cigarettes has a positive effect on teeth and the oral cavity.
Does Vape Have An Indirect Risk?
While nicotine poses little risk to dental health, it is far from the only potential risk. A fact that few vapers know is that vaping can be dehydrating. Both vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol found in e-liquids have a diuretic effect. This means they pull the water from the surrounding area. This is why you often get a dry mouth after vaping. As a rule, this causes vapers to drink more automatically. However, the question is whether dry mouth and dehydration can harm teeth. Various studies have found a connection between a slight lack of water and dental problems, even if this seems more indirect. Moisture in the mouth is essential for oral health for several reasons. When we eat, acids and bacteria get into our mouth and onto our teeth, which can attack the tooth enamel and break it down in the long term. The moisture in the mouth contains enzymes and endogenous substances to counteract this and protect the teeth. If saliva production is weakened by vaping, everyday activities such as drinking a glass of orange juice can be all the more dangerous for your teeth. The body’s protective mechanism is missing. However, the connection here is only indirect. A lack of liquid does not cause dental problems but only promotes them. In this sense, a dry mouth caused by vaping cannot be seen as a direct reason for dental problems but, at most, as a contributing factor to which you can react accordingly.
Tips For Better Dental Health As A Vaper
While there’s no definitive evidence that vaping puts you at greater risk for your teeth, there’s nothing wrong with taking preventative measures. There are a few simple tips that can help to reduce the risk of dental problems significantly.
Drinking enough not only helps your general health and well-being but is of great importance for vapers in general. If you react to a dry mouth with sufficient liquid intake, you are doing the right thing in any case. For this reason, it is advisable to always have a bottle of water with you to counteract a dry mouth and thirst with sufficient liquid. The risk of vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol can also be significantly reduced.
Vape less frequently with higher nicotine levels.
From time to time, we recommend reducing the frequency of vaping and increasing the nicotine level in the liquid. This not only helps to get a longer life out of the individual components of the e-cigarette but is also safer. Various ingredients in the liquids, such as vegetable glycerine, cause dehydration and dry mouth. So the less you take in these, the smaller the effect is inevitable.
Brush your teeth and visit the dentist regularly.
Whether you’re a vaper or not, basic dental care must increase dental health. It would help if you brushed your teeth at least twice a day. Regular visits to the dentist are also highly recommended. If you notice a problem, you should not hesitate and get help immediately so that it does not worsen over time.
In conclusion, it can only be said that the risk to dental health from e-cigarettes looks good, and no connection can be established. However, your powers of observation also help here. If you find that vaping too often causes toothache or worsens existing dental problems, you should not only visit a dentist. A reduction in the frequency of vaping is also advisable and can lead to improvement in the long term or at least stop further deterioration.
The Right Perspective
While this article can only state again that vaping is likely better for your teeth than smoking, there is still a residual risk. This is related to nicotine. However, there is still far too little research and evidence to justify concern here. Very few smokers will have switched to e-cigarettes because of their teeth. Instead, in addition to general health, the lungs are a problem. This is also where most of the research on e-cigarettes and vaping is done. If you use an e-cigarette and not a conventional cigarette, you are doing your health a favour. With the right dental care, you shouldn’t rack your brains about whether vaping damages your teeth, at least as long as there are no meaningful results in this regard.