Is Vaping Bad for Your Oral Health?
There’s been a lot of media attention recently regarding the health risks of vaping. But did you know that the use of e-cigarettes or vaporizers is bad for your teeth as well as your respiratory health?
Studies are currently ongoing, but here’s what we know so far about the effects of vaping, both nicotine and cannabis, on your oral health.
What exactly is vaping?
While vaping resembles smoking, it’s ultimately a different process. It works by heating substances — usually nicotine liquid but sometimes marijuana flowers or oil —to produce aerosol or vapour that is inhaled. This vapour contains nicotine (or THC in the case of marijuana use) and other chemicals that may be harmful to your health.
How vaping affects your teeth and mouth
Current research shows that vaping can have the following effects on your teeth and mouth:
- More bacteria. Studies suggest that teeth and gums that are exposed to the aerosol from a vaporizer have more bacteria than those that aren’t. Excess bacteria in the mouth can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
- Dry mouth. The heat from a vaporizer, as well as some ingredients in nicotine liquid (primarily an alcohol called propylene glycol), can lead to chronic dry mouth. In turn, dry mouth leads to bad breath, mouth sores and tooth decay.
- Gum inflammation. At least one study has suggested that there’s a link between vaping and ongoing gum inflammation, which is associated with the different periodontal diseases.
Minimizing the effects
While the jury’s still out on just exactly how much risk vaping poses, there’s already good evidence that it’s not good for your oral or physical health. If you vape regularly, it would be in your best interest to stop using your device and to stop smoking altogether.
Just like cigarette smokers, people who vape regularly must take extra care or their teeth and stick to a regimented oral hygiene routine. If you vape, you should:
- Drink water after each vaping session
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Floss daily
- Visit your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and oral health checkup.