September 26, 2019
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the latest trend: vaping. While studies have shown that it doesn’t wreak quite as much havoc on your oral health as smoking cigarettes, it’s still not wonderful for your teeth and gums. Are there any dental issues caused by vaping? Can it result in a dental emergency? Continue reading to learn how vaping affects your dental health.
How Does Vaping Affect Your Teeth and Gums?
Vaping can cause some oral health issues, such as:
- Excess bacteria. The aerosol in e-cigarette vapor gets trapped in the crevices of your teeth, increasing bacterial buildup. This means you have a bigger risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
- Dry mouth. Smoking and vaping decrease the amount of saliva in your mouth. Since saliva washes away leftover food particles that cause cavities, you want more of it, not less.
- Inflamed gums. A 2016 study showed that people who vaped had higher rates of gum inflammation. This is a common symptom of gum disease, which can cause a whole host of other health issues.
- Oral cancer. People may think that vaping is less likely to cause cancer than smoking, but cancer growth happens gradually. Since no one knows the long-term effects of vaping yet, we can’t say for sure whether it’s more or less likely to cause oral cancer. However, it’s best to err on the side of more careful.
- Longer healing time. Consuming tobacco, whether that be in the form of chewing, smoking or vaping, slows down the healing process after any oral procedure. It also may cause the body to reject any dental implants if they have not finished integrating into the jawbone.
Can Vaping Cause a Dental Emergency?
Because vaping can cause cavities, it can increase your risk for a dental emergency. One of the most common dental emergencies is a severe toothache. More often than not, a toothache that seemingly appears out of nowhere actually has tooth decay to blame.
In addition, vaping weakens your tooth enamel. This leaves your teeth more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. It also means your teeth are more likely to get broken in falls, sports injuries, or from chewing on hard or sticky substances. That could constitute an extra, expensive trip to your emergency dentist’s office.
The bottom line is that vaping is bad for your health, no matter how cool you might think it looks. Even if it’s safer for you than cigarettes, it’s still bad for your health, and not just your teeth and gums. If you need help quitting vaping, ask your dentist or doctor for resources to help you kick the habit. And if you’ve never picked up a vape, don’t start.
About the Author
Dr. Joseph Noble has been improving smiles in San Antonio for 20 years and counting. He earned his dental degree at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. For tips on how to quit vaping, or to learn more about how it affects your oral health, contact Dr. Noble by clicking here or calling (210) 342-1001.
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