May 22, 2023
Speaking recently for National Smile Month, Dr Affan Saghir, owner of Space Dental, a luxury cosmetic dental clinic in the UK, said that anyone wishing to maintain a healthy smile should steer clear of tobacco and vaping products. And while the effect of vaping is still debatable for many, the negative impact of combustible tobacco is a widely accepted fact.
In fact experts in the field are all in agreement that smokers’ teeth are less white than those of non-smokers. A study by award winning researcher Riccardo Polosa, Professor of Medicine and Founder of CoEHAR at the University of Catania, and Giovanni Zucchelli, professor of Periodontology University of Bologna, analysed this further.
Titled, “Repeatability of dental shade by digital spectrophotometry in current, former, and never smokers,” the study examined and compared the differences in the color of teeth withing a group of smokers and a group of non-smokers. The Italian researchers found that indeed the teeth of smokers were significantly less white than those of non-smokers.
On contacting Dr. Polosa to discuss the topic, he explained that in his opinion this is a good angle to tackle smoking cessation from, as aesthetics may be more of a current priority for young people. “The reason why I consider this important is because we are aware of an aesthetic narrative for younger smokers… We all agree that anaesthetic-based narrative would convincingly resonate among youngsmokers. The notion of improvement in dental whiteness could drivethousands of young smokers away from combustible tobacco!”
He summarized three crucial points that emerged from the study:
“1. The study findings demonstrate that current smokers’ teeth are
significantly less white than nonsmokers’ teeth. Furthermore, after
quitting smoking, teeth whiteness improves.
2. Aesthetic considerations may become a much more compelling
motivation to quit smoking, especially for young smokers who perceive
bad breath and teeth appearance (owing to tooth discolouration and
“tar”/tobacco stains) as a major issue.
3. The use of tar-free nicotine delivery technology (such as
cigarettes or heated tobacco products) is likely to improve
dental appearance, ongoing international research coordinated by
CoEHAR will soon provide definitive results.”
Another Italian observational study carried out at the Unit of Periodontology and Oral Hygiene of Calabrodental Clinic in Crotone, had analyzed the oral health of 110 smokers who had just switched to vaping. At the start of the study, 61% in group 1 and 65% in group 2, experienced gum bleeding, when re-examined at the end of the study, 92% and 98% respectively, experienced no bleeding.
Studies suggesting that vapes have a negative impact on dental health
In contrast, earlier this year CareQuest Institute for Oral Health®, a non-profit focused on contributing to a better national oral health system, released a report suggesting several oral health risks associated with the use of cigarettes.
Among these health risks, says the report, are gum disease, dental decay, bone loss, and hairy tongue. The paper said that medical professionals need to educate their patients about these risks, however it did not compare the relative benefits for users when they switch from smoking cigarettes.
Another relatively recent study indicated that the sugar content of e-liquids may promote teeth cavities. Titled, “A comparison of the caries risk between patients who use vapes or electronic cigarettes and those who do not,” the study was published online in the Journal of the American Dental Association. Analysing the association between vaping and possible caries risk level, the research team found that vapers had a higher risk of developing them.
Similarly North Carolina dentists have reported noticing an increase and tooth and gum problems among young people who vape. These problems include chronically dry mouth and increased risk for tooth decay, sore gums, grinding the teeth and tooth decay according to Dentist Dr. Anbec DeShield-Mayes, owner of BestMouth Dental in Greensboro.
“We try to give them things to help rehydrate their teeth,” said DeShield-Mayes. “We tell them to drink plenty of water, brushing twice a day, flossing. These are things that I’m seeing with my patients that I’m finding out now are new ‘vapers,’ or have switched from smoking to vaping.”
While another study published in JAMA Network Open, warned that people who vape may be putting themselves at risk of developing gum disease. Titled, “Tobacco Use and Incidence of Adverse Oral Health Outcomes Among US Adults in the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study,” the study used data from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to look at associations between the use of combustible tobacco products and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), and developing oral health problems like gum disease.
The research team analyzed data about respondents aged 18 years and above, without lifetime history of oral health conditions. They found associations between current combustible tobacco use with the incidence of adverse oral health outcomes and also links between current ENDS use and the incidence of bleeding after brushing or flossing.
Dentists in Australia are also growing increasingly concerned about the effects of vaping on their patients’ oral health in general. Among other things, the dentists in question mentioned stained teeth, gum disease, bad breath, tooth decay, and also wounds from exploded devices. Principal surgeon Michael Cai from Pitt Street Dental Centre said that the negative impact of vaping is as serious as the one from smoking. “One of the explosions was so bad it broke off two lower front teeth, it was pretty horrible,” said Dr Cai. “The patient ended up having dental implants and they are costly.”
He added that some liquids contain components that stain teeth. “For example watermelon flavour will have pink dye in it that stains the teeth pink,” he said. While Australian Dental Association spokeswoman Sue Ching-Yeoh said that the extent of damage is difficult to measure.
Inaccuracies spread about vaping and oral health
The Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA) discussed a recently published inaccurate article linking vaping to gum disease. The Times newspaper recently published an article titled “Elf bars and me: I am a vaping addict, so will I get gum disease?,” in their health section. Amongst other things, the author inaccurately claims that using just one disposable vape roughly equates to consuming the same amount of nicotine found in 45 cigarettes. This is not even possible explained the IBVTA.
“The UK legal limits on these products are a maximum of 2 millilitres of liquid and 20 milligrams of nicotine per ml. That is 40mg of nicotine in total. Given the average nicotine content of a tobacco cigarettes is 10-12 mg, it is difficult to see how the journalist came up with her figure of 45 cigarettes. It is more like 4.”
The article author goes on to irresponsibly make refer to unsubstantiated claims made by teenagers in social media videos, claiming that vaping is causing them gum disease. Professor Linda Bauld, Bruce and John Usher professor of public health at Edinburgh University responded to the piece saying it is a “good example of how not to write a health-related article and how not to consult anyone from the UK who has conducted research on the topic”. She added that it was “unusually poor from The Times’’.
Similarly, four dental experts from Newcastle University’s School of Dental Sciences have recently spoken up against some inaccuracies recently spread by two food science lecturers at the Cardiff Metropolitan University School of Sport and Health Science, who have recently made several claims on how vaping allegedly causes tooth damage.
Dr Richard Holliday, Professor Elaine McColl, Anthony Weke, and Zella Sayeed, published a letter in the British Dental Journal by Newcastle University, explaining how the claims are inaccurate.
“Tellingly, all UK public bodies, including the NHS, ignore the WHO’s advice. They support vaping, knowing it does not erode teeth nor lead to gum disease.” They said they would like to, “point UK dental professionals to the well-considered public health guidance which basically concludes that, for the best chances of quitting smoking, one should use support and pharmacotherapy and that cigarettes can be part of that package.”
The experts explained that the two authors cited a WHO poster and incorrectly claimed that nicotine causes a “high risk of oral and whole-body health complications.” When in reality, they added, nicotine replacement therapy (NRTs) have been safely used in the form of patches and gum for over 30 years.
Moreover, they concluded, UK dental professionals should be pointed to the well-considered public health guidance on the topic. The experts highlighted that this guidance actually states that for the best chances of quitting smoking, one should use support and pharmacotherapy, adding “cigarettes can be part of that package.”
Context is key
In conclusion, many medical and oral health practitioners, as well as smoking cessation experts insist on the relative benefits of vaping for those smokers who struggle to quit unaided. While no one disputes the fact that non-smokers should not take up vaping, given the proven relative safety of the products, switching from smoking to vaping decreases health risks for smokers and improves their oral health.
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How does vaping affect your oral health? ›
Vaping has a direct effect on oral health.
Exposure to e-cigarette aerosol can lead to more bacteria in the mouth, which is associated with tooth decay, cavities, and gum diseases. It can also cause dry mouth, inflamed gums, and other issues.
A vaping habit could end up leading to a tarnished smile, and more frequent visits to the dentist. Research by faculty from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine found patients who said they used vaping devices were more likely to have a higher risk of developing cavities.What does research say about the effects of vaping? ›
2: Research suggests vaping is bad for your heart and lungs.
Nicotine is the primary agent in regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes, and it is highly addictive. It causes you to crave a smoke and suffer withdrawal symptoms if you ignore the craving. Nicotine is a toxic substance.
Here are four of the main ones. One of the most common side effects of vaping is a dry mouth. Some humectants in e-cigarettes, like propylene glycol, for example, can cause mouth dryness. Mouth dryness can produce bad breath, mouth sores and even cause tooth decay.Can Vapes cause mouth disease? ›
Vaping and Gum Disease
With less saliva in your mouth because of the mouth drying effects of vaping, plaque bacteria can multiply and an infection below the gumline can occur. Left untreated, this infection can turn into gingivitis or periodontal disease.
A study supported by the American Dental Association Foundation determined that vaping sweet e-cigarettes can increase the risk of dental cavities. Scientists evaluated e-cigarette aerosols and found that they have similar properties to high-sucrose, gelatinous candies and acidic drinks.Why do people who vape have more bacteria in their mouth? ›
“The dry oral environment and presence of nicotine, which reduces blood supply and oxygen levels, help create an environment that allows these bacteria to proliferate at an increased rate.”What did the FDA warn about vaping? ›
E-cigarette Problems and Potential Violations
There are no safe tobacco products, including ENDS. In addition to exposing people to risks of tobacco-related disease and death, FDA has received reports from the public about safety problems associated with vaping products including: Overheating, fires, and explosions.
Vaping can harm your body.
It's not water vapor—aerosol from vaping has cancer-causing chemicals. Vaping has been linked to EVALI (e-cigarette, or vaping associated lung injury). Vapes can also contain harmful (and possibly harmful) ingredients such as: Very fine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs.
Besides nicotine, e-cigarettes can contain harmful and potentially harmful ingredients, including: ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs. flavorants such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease. volatile organic compounds.
How much safer is vaping than smoking? ›
Although the precise long term risks of vaping nicotine have not yet been established they are certain to be only a tiny fraction of those from smoking, which kills prematurely up to 2 in 3 long-term users. Based on this information, the estimate that vaping is 95% safer than smoker is a very reasonable guide.What are 5 risks of vaping? ›
- Asthma. Vaping can make you more likely to get asthma and other lung conditions. ...
- Lung scarring. ...
- Organ damage. ...
- EVALI (e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury). ...
- Addiction. ...
- Cigarette smoking. ...
- Second-hand exposure. ...
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) , some experts still consider vaping less harmful than smoking cigarettes, but that doesn't mean vaping isn't harmful.What are 5 facts about vaping? ›
- Many vapes contain nicotine making them addictive.
- Vapes can contain the same harmful chemicals found in cleaning products, nail polish remover, weed killer and bug spray.
- Vapes can leave young people at increased risk of depression and anxiety.
- The nicotine in 1 vape can = 50 cigarettes.
Importantly, research has shown that even briefly vaping or smoking can lead to inflammation on the tongue and other areas of the mouth, and inflammation can contribute to a wide range of negative oral health issues. One study even showed that vaping can change tissue on a molecular level.Does vaping cause mouth inflammation? ›
When you vape, you are irritating the gums within your mouth due to the high temperatures of the vapor. This irritation can lead to inflammation and swelling of the gums, plaque buildup, and tooth loss. Plaque is what causes cavities and tooth decay, thus making vaping detrimental to your oral health.Does vaping cause tooth loss? ›
Nicotine can lead to gum disease and tooth loss.
Not only does nicotine restrict blood flow to the gums, it also affects our mouth's natural ability to fight infection and replenish connective tissue, leading to a higher risk of gum disease and tooth loss.
The answer is yes. While some people switch from smoking to vaping because they may think vaping is a safer alternative to smoking, studies show that it is just bad for your teeth and gums. Vaping has the same adverse effects on your oral health as smoking and your dentist WILL be able to tell.Should you brush your teeth after vaping? ›
After vaping, wait for at least 20 minutes before brushing to prevent enamel erosion. Make sure to floss daily to keep your gums healthy. Check Your Mouth – If you notice dental problems, such as gum bleeding, soreness, persistent bad breath, consult your dentist immediately.Is vaping better than smoking for oral health? ›
But did you know that vaping has the same negative effects on your teeth and gums as smoking does? Since e-cigarettes and vaping often doesn't include tobacco, it's often seen as the healthier alternative, but your oral health suffers just the same.
Does vaping cause receding gums? ›
Vaping and Your Teeth
Nicotine restricts blood vessels which reduces blood flow to the teeth and gums. Without enough blood flowing through your veins, your gums don't get the oxygen and nutrients they need to stay healthy. In this way, vaping causes the death of gum tissues, which can lead to gum recession.
E-cigarettes also contain popylene glycol – the liquid in an e-cigarette. It breaks down in the mouth into acids which can permanently damage tooth enamel and dentine by dissolving them away. Some potential complications of vaping and nicotine use include; Receding gums.How do you clean your mouth from vaping? ›
- Brush your teeth twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Floss daily.
- Drink water and rinse your mouth after using vaping products.
- Consider sucking on sugar-free candies or mints to help prevent dry mouth.
- Quit or limit your usage.
New studies have found that vaping can cause gum disease, inflammation, loose teeth, cavities, mouth ulcers, and dry mouth. Additional health problems that are caused by vaping include damage to both the heart and lungs.Why did the U.S. ban vaping? ›
Parents, politicians and anti-tobacco advocates wanted a ban on the devices that many blame for the rise in underage vaping. Supporters say they can help smokers cut back on regular cigarettes. The FDA said Juul had failed to provide “sufficient evidence” that its devices helped people quit smoking.Did the U.S. ban vaping? ›
As of July 1, 2022, 25 states have laws in place that restrict e-cigarette use in 100% smoke free venues, according to the American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation. Over the years, states have attempted issuing bans on all vape vaping products, but most bans are on flavored products and online sales.Which vape is FDA approved? ›
Night mode: Recently, the first disposable vape device passed the PMTA approval process. The NJOY Daily Rich Tobacco and the NJOY Daily Extra Rich Tobacco disposable vapes have now both been approved for sale.What is the scary truth about vaping? ›
The vapor in e-cigarettes can also expose you to toxic chemicals like formaldehyde, acrolein, and acetaldehyde, as well as harmful metal particles: nickel, lead, chromium, tin, and aluminum. Breathing in e-cigarette aerosol can deliver these chemicals to your lungs where they can cause damage.Is there a healthy vape? ›
The reality of any vaping device, whether marketed as a “healthy” option or not, is that they are unsafe to use. The lack of research combined with a lack of federal regulation means that there is simply no evidence suggesting “healthy vapes” offer any benefit or a healthy alternative to nicotine-based devices.Why is vaping worse? ›
It can lead to the same issues as if they were smoking cigarettes or even worsen those issues because the nicotine concentration is higher when using vapes, and that could cause more serious effects, according to Acker.
Will my lungs heal if I vape? ›
Breathing in the harmful chemicals from vaping products can cause irreversible (cannot be cured) lung damage, lung disease and, in some cases, death.What happens when you stop vaping? ›
Vaping nicotine can lead to a cycle of withdrawal that can be challenging to overcome. Nicotine withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person but commonly consist of mood swings, irritability, headaches, and even feelings of anxiety and depression.How many puffs of a vape is equal to a cigarette? ›
You might also be wondering how many cigarettes are there in 3mg e liquid. Around 14 puffs would be equal to one cigarette and a 60 ml bottle of 3 mg e liquid would be equal to 15 cigarettes.How long does nicotine stay in your system? ›
Generally, nicotine will leaves your blood within 1 to 3 days after you stop using tobacco, and cotinine will be gone after 1 to 10 days. Neither nicotine nor cotinine will be detectable in your urine after 3 to 4 days of stopping tobacco products.What are the benefits of vaping? ›
Benefits of vaping
Vaping can help some people quit smoking. Vaping is usually cheaper than smoking. Vaping is not harmless, but it is much less harmful than smoking. Vaping is less harmful to those around you than smoking, as there's no current evidence that second-hand vapour is dangerous to others.
Stopping vaping can help you avoid serious health risks, such as cardiovascular disease, lung damage, and respiratory problems. By quitting vaping, you'll be able to reduce your chances of having a heart attack and other heart-related issues.Is it safe to vape without nicotine? ›
Some vape product manufacturers claim that vaping is a completely safe alternative to smoking. However, early research into the safety of the practice suggests this is not the case. In fact, it appears that vaping, even without nicotine, can have harmful effects on the body.What happens when you quit smoking and start vaping? ›
What happens when you switch from smoking to vaping? As most smoking-related health issues are caused by tobacco, the transition to vaping immediately stops ex-smokers from inhaling harmful chemicals and toxins such as carbon monoxide, tar, benzene, arsenic and formaldehyde.How does vaping affect the brain? ›
These risks include nicotine addiction, mood disorders, and permanent lowering of impulse control. Nicotine also changes the way synapses are formed, which can harm the parts of the brain that control attention and learning.
The answer is yes. While some people switch from smoking to vaping because they may think vaping is a safer alternative to smoking, studies show that it is just bad for your teeth and gums. Vaping has the same adverse effects on your oral health as smoking and your dentist WILL be able to tell.
Can dentists tell if you vape? ›
Yup! A dentist will know if your teen vapes because nicotine smoked in any form negatively impacts oral health, specifically teeth and gums. Although e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, they still contain highly concentrated amounts of nicotine, which can damage the mouth.Is vaping worse for teeth than smoking? ›
One of the biggest ways that smoking damages your oral health is that you are very likely to develop gum disease. Vaping exposes your gums to both nicotine as well as hot and drying vapour which therefore, definitely puts users at a higher risk of gum disease.How can I vape without damaging my teeth? ›
- Limit your nicotine intake. Opting for low-nicotine or nicotine-free juices can help limit the negative effects of nicotine on your teeth and gums.
- Drink water after you vape. ...
- Brush your teeth twice a day. ...
- Floss before bed. ...
- Visit a dentist on a regular basis.
No, nor any other way.Will my gums go back to normal after quitting smoking? ›
Will my gums get better if I stop smoking? Yes. The good news is that people who quit smoking have the same risk of developing gum disease and responding to gum treatment as non-smokers. Once you quit smoking, don't be alarmed if your gums bleed more.Can vaping damage your esophagus? ›
E-cigarettes contain nicotine and other chemicals that may damage the esophagus. They may also cause or worsen the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).Can vaping cause your teeth to hurt? ›
Tooth Sensitivity – Chemical vapor from the vapes and E-cigarettes cause irritation of the gums which causes them to recede from their position. This, coupled with the nicotine-induced uncontrolled teeth grinding destroys the tooth enamel and makes the teeth sensitive to hot or cold.Can vaping cause leukoplakia? ›
Although the exact cause of Leukoplakia is still unknown evidence has shown that tobacco use, including smoking, chewing and vaping is directly related to the proliferation of leukoplakia. Leukoplakia is more prevalent in users of smokeless tobacco products like chew, dip or snus.
What causes this slime cloak to form? Rather than the nicotine or flavoring, it's the ingredients in a vape that lends it that “throat-hit” feeling, to make it reminiscent of a cigarette. The two agents responsible for this effect — and responsible for the slime film — are called propylene glycol and glycerol.What is a vaper's tongue? ›
Vapers tongue is a phrase used to describe not being able to taste vape juice. It is said that most vapers will experience this from time to time. This inconvenience usually lasts for 1-3 days but at worst can last for up to two weeks! Why is it happening? Vaping can sometimes cause a dry mouth much like smoking does.
Is vaping worse than nicotine gum? ›
Vaping gets more nicotine into the blood quicker than nicotine gum, so addresses cravings faster.Does vaping shrink your teeth? ›
Nicotine has been proven to reduce blood flow. If you don't have enough blood flowing through your veins, your gums don't get a healthy amount of nutrients and oxygen. Eventually, vaping causes gum tissue to die, and gums to recede. What you end up with is cavities, tooth sensitivity… and even tooth loss.