Is Vaping Bad ForYour Oral Health? - Wayside Dental Practice
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Is Vaping Bad ForYour Oral Health?

Is Vaping Bad ForYour Oral Health?
Harpenden Dentist - Wayside Dental Practice
27, Sep 2022

One questionwe get asked on a regular basis is how vaping and e-cigarettes affect teeth, gums and oral health. There’s a lot of information and scary news stories about this and googling the subject will bring up thousands of web pages covering the good, the bad and the ugly on vaping. You’ll be left with more questions than answers so in this blog we’d like summarise all the latest evidence-based information on vaping so you’re as up to date as we are.

We’ll start with an easy one.

Is vaping better for you than smoking?

You’d probably have to live on Mars to not know smoking is a major cause of cancer, heart disease and many other illnesses including periodontal disease.E-cigarettes are considered by our health authorities to be an effective way to help people stop smoking and thus reduce the risk of these illnesses. However, because there are no studies on the long term effects of vaping, the advice is to vape for only so long as is required to stop smoking.

Oral Health

It will take years of research to find out what, if any, the effect of vaping is on oral health.However, any negative consequences are considered likely to be small compared to the substantial health benefits of stopping smoking. Tobacco smoke contains an almost uniquely toxic cocktail of chemicals which cause an array of oral health diseases. E-cigarette aerosol does not contain tar, carbon monoxide or high doses of known carcinogens.

Patients who stop smoking show major improvements in oral health and reduction in risk of disease development or progression and patients who have gum disease respond better to periodontal treatment.

Does vaping cause gum disease?

There’s a clear and well documented link between smoking and gum disease and gum disease and heart disease.When it comes to vaping,the evidence is mixed with some studies pointing to periodontal health remaining unchanged between vapers and non-vapers and others suggesting gum-health is worse for vapers.

Vaping exposes gums to nicotine but this is not a risk factor when it comes to periodontal disease. It’s more likely the mouth-drying effect of vapingputs your gum-health at risk as saliva is a natural defence against plaque.

It’s not yet clear how much damage vaping does to gums and more clinical studies are needed over the long-term to draw conclusions.

Does vaping cause cavities?

Cavities (holes in your teeth) are usually caused by plaque acid eroding your tooth’s enamel.Plaque bacteria create this harmful acid when they come into contact with sugar.

E-cigarettes don’t usually contain natural sugars, they tend to use artificial sweeteners to add flavour. Currently there’s little evidence vaping causes cavities, however, the mouth-drying effect of filling your mouth with vapour may increase your risk of tooth decay and cavities.

Does vaping stain your teeth?

Cigarettes turn your teeth yellow and brown due to the tar, ash and nicotine in tobacco smoke. There’s currently no evidence to suggest vaping stains teeth but until studies are done on the long-term effects of e-cigarettes it’s impossible to give a conclusive answer.

Does vaping cause mouth cancer?

Nicotine, which is common to both traditional and e-cigarettes has not been found to cause mouth cancer. However, vaping and e-cigarettes are relatively new when compared to smoking, so until long-term studies have been conducted into the effects of vaping it’s best to be cautious before coming to any finite conclusions.

Much of the information on this blog is derived from an August 2022 article on Dentistry.co.uk. Readers interested in the full article can read it here.

If you’re worried about anything in this article, have questions or would like to book a dental check-up or dental hygiene appointment please don’t hesitate to contact us today and speak to one our helpful staff.

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