Effects of vaping on teeth. Tobacco users are often concerned with the effects of smoking on their teeth. Many will switch to using vaporizers as an alternative. Vaping is often thought of as safer, but is that really the case? If you have recently started using a vape, this is how it might be affecting your oral health.
Vaping Increases Risk of Periodontal Disease
Medical researchers have long noted the connection between smoking and periodontal disease. These same researchers are now discovering a correlation between vapor cigarettes and gum disease as well.
The reason? Both types contain nicotine, a harmful substance that can lead to gum infections. Your mouth contains both harmful and helpful bacteria. Nicotine makes it difficult for good bacteria to grow but provides an ideal environment for bad germs to thrive in. The result is an increased risk of infection that can lead to gum disease.
Some signs you may be experiencing periodontal disease include:
- Gums that are bright red and not pink
- Swollen, inflamed gums
- Persistent, pus-like blisters anywhere in the mouth
- Bleeding gums, particularly after brushing or flossing
Inflammation and Cell Damage
The number of vapors out there is too numerous to count. Along with an endless supply of vapes, there is also an untold amount of ingredients used to make them. The problem with that is that many of those ingredients are known to have carcinogenic effects on the body, especially soft tissues of the mouth and gums.
Others have not been fully evaluated, and should not automatically be considered as safe. Some possible effects of many common vape chemicals can include:
- Lowering your immune system
- Creating cell damage
- Making it difficult for tissue to heal itself following a dental procedure
- Reducing blood flow to the mouth
One of the most noted after effects of vapor use is increased inflammation. This is problematic for anyone visiting an orthodontist as it could interfere with many methods of straightening the teeth.
Gum Recession and Sensitivity
After trying a vape for a little while, many users are surprised to discover they now have a receding gum line. In fact, some will have noticeably more recession on one side of their mouth than another. This most often can be attributed to placing the vapor machine on one side the majority of the time.
Nicotine is the primary culprit that causes gum recession. As with cigarette smoking, nicotine comes in direct contact with the teeth, lips, tongue, and soft palate at the roof of the mouth.
Depending on the formula, a vape may contain even higher concentrations of nicotine than a cigar or cigarette, in which case gum recession can occur must faster. Some vape users note that their gum recession seemed to have come out of nowhere after switching from other forms of tobacco.
When gum recession occurs, individuals may experience sharp, stabbing pains any time they consume hot, sweet, acidic, or cold foods. As such, it can be very difficult to enjoy many of the foods they once ate quite frequently.
Stained, Yellow Teeth
Vape lovers often hope to avoid having yellow, stained teeth as a result of their habit. Unfortunately, this expectation is normally very short lived. As with cigarette smoking, using a vape can leave teeth discolored with a yellow or gray film over top.
In addition, professional whitening treatments are often ineffective or provide only mediocre results. This means that many people must simply put up with the visible signs that are embarrassingly evident each and every time they smile.
If you vape, it is important to brush your teeth more often, using a whitening toothpaste and/or mouthwash whenever possible. This is needed in order to counteract the yellowing effects that are sometimes caused by the vapor. Cleaning with braces is a whole other thing.
Weakening Teeth and Their Enamel
As mentioned, vapes can contain a number of chemicals and other harmful substances aside from tar and nicotine. Some of them will have a negative effect on tooth enamel. Over time, teeth can become weak and brittle and might even break off. If you have brittle teeth, you could have a hard time enjoying hard, crunchy, or sticky foods.
Those who vape might also notice teeth that:
- Are loose and wobbly
- Become chipped easily
- Appear very thin or almost transparent
Once tooth enamel has been weakened, it is nearly impossible to repair. As a result, you could require additional care in order to maintain a high degree of oral health.
Bad Breath or Chronic Halitosis
As if all the other effects of vaping were not bad enough, one more thing vape users must worry about is bad breath. Some will suffer bad breath only on occasion, such as after very heavy vapor use.
Others will experience chronic halitosis that will not seem to go away no matter how often they brush, floss, or gargle. These individuals can suffer physically as well as socially if friends and family members avoid them because of it.
Ironically, many will not make the connection between their bad breath problem and the use of a vape. They may continue on as though nothing is wrong, all the while wondering why others no longer wish to be around them. Remember that just because vapors do not produce the same odor as cigarettes does not mean they do not negatively affect your breath.
Reverse the Effects Today
Finally, if you or a loved one are considering ortho treatment, there are plenty of reasons to forego vaping first. The after effects of vapor use are easily reversible once you stop, leaving you a good candidate for straightening.
Your Marin Orthodontist is Expert
Accordingly, you can contact our Dr. Gorton or Dr. Schmohl at Marin County office to learn more about the benefits of improving your smile through orthodontics. We welcome people of all ages and walks of life to achieve the new outlook on life and improved confidence that can only come from having a winning smile.
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Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics
900 Larkspur Landing Circle
Suite 200 Larkspur, California 94939
Effects of Vaping (on Teeth)
Dr. Jasmine Gorton, a Bay Area native, graduated from UC Berkeley with Bachelor degrees in both Integrative Biology and Social Sciences and then went on to graduate from Harvard with honors for her Doctorate in Dental Medicine.
She continued her education at UCSF with a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Growth and Development, followed by an Orthodontic Residency with a Master of Science in Oral Biology.
She is Board Certified in Orthodontics. She received the American Association of Orthodontics Award for Craniofacial Research and the Harvard Odontological Society Award for Excellence in Research. Her work on preventing decay around braces has been published in the American Journal of Orthodontics.