The effects of vaping on oral health.. What does science tell us? - Health Care (2023)

A study that analyzed the oral health of 110 smokers who had just switched to vaping reported major improvements in gum bleeding.

Dr. Affan Saghir, owner of Space Dental, a luxury cosmetic dental clinic in the UK, recently said for National Smile Month that anyone who wants to maintain a healthy smile should avoid 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.

Experts in the field all agree 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, further analyzed this.

The study, titled “Repeatability of dental shade by digital spectrophotometry in current, ex-, and never smokers,” examined and compared differences in tooth color between a group of smokers and a group of non-smokers. The Italian researchers discovered that the teeth of smokers were indeed significantly less white than those of non-smokers.

When he contacted Dr. Polosa to discuss the topic, he explained that in his opinion this is a good angle to tackle smoking cessation as aesthetics may be more of a priority for young people. “The reason I think this is important is because we are aware of an aesthetic story for younger smokers… We all agree that an
aesthetically based narrative would resonate convincingly among young people
smokers. The idea of ​​improving the whiteness of teeth could lead
thousands of young smokers away from combustible tobacco!”

He summarized three crucial points that emerged from the research:

(Video) Does vaping have an impact on oral health?

“1. The study results show that the teeth of current smokers are
considerably less white than the teeth of non-smokers. Further, after
quit smoking, improves white teeth.

2. Aesthetic considerations can become much more compelling
motivation to quit smoking, especially for young smokers who observe
bad breath and appearance of the teeth (due to discoloration of the teeth and
“tar”/tobacco stains) as a major problem.

3. The use of tar-free nicotine delivery technology (such as
electronic cigarettes or heated tobacco products) is likely to improve
teeth, ongoing international research coordinated by
CoEHAR will soon provide final results.”

Another Italian observational study, conducted by the Department of Periodontology and Oral Hygiene at the Calabrodental Clinic in Crotone, 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 had bleeding gums, when re-examined at the end of the study, 92% and 98%, respectively, had no bleeding.

Studies suggest that fumes have a negative impact on dental health

In contrast, the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health®, a nonprofit organization focused on contributing to a better national oral health system, released a report earlier this year suggesting several oral health risks associated with e-cigarette use.

These health risks include gum disease, tooth decay, bone loss and hairy tongue, according to the report. The paper said medical professionals should educate their patients about these risks, but it did not compare the relative benefits to users when they switch from smoking cigarettes.

(Video) Vaping effects on oral health

Another relatively recent study indicated that the sugar content of e-liquids may promote tooth decay. Titled “A Comparison of Caries Risk Between Patients Who Vape or Use Electronic Cigarettes and Those Who Don’t,” the study was published online in the Journal of the American Dental Association. Analyzing the link between vaping and potential caries risk, the research team found that vapers had a higher risk of developing caries.

Similarly, dentists in North Carolina have reported noticing an increase in tooth and gum problems in young people who vape. These issues include chronically dry mouth and an increased risk of tooth decay, sore gums, teeth grinding and tooth decay, according to dentist Dr. Anbec DeShield-Mayes, owner of BestMouth Dental in Greensboro.

“We try to give them things to moisturize their teeth,” says DeShield-Mayes. “We tell them to drink plenty of water, brush twice a day and floss. These are things that I see in my patients that I’m now discovering are new “vapers,” or have moved from smoking to vaping.

While another study published in JAMA Network Open warned that people who vape are at risk of developing gum disease. Entitled, “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 combustible tobacco use products and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), and developing oral health problems such as gum disease.

The research team analyzed data on respondents aged 18 and older, with no lifetime history of oral health problems. They found associations between current use of combustible tobacco and the incidence of adverse oral health outcomes and also associations between current ENDS use and the incidence of bleeding after brushing or flossing.

Dentists in Australia are also increasingly concerned about the effects of vaping on their patients’ oral health in general. The dentists in question mentioned, among other things, discolored teeth, gum disease, bad breath, tooth decay, but also wounds from exploded devices. Pitt Street Dental Center chief surgeon Michael Cai said the negative impact of vaping is just as serious as that of smoking. “One of the explosions was so intense that it broke off two lower front teeth. It was pretty horrifying,” said Dr Cai. “The patient ended up getting dental implants and they are expensive.”

(Video) Local dentist explains why vaping is dangerous for teeth

He added that some e-liquids contain components that discolor teeth. “The flavor of watermelon, for example, will contain pink dye that will stain teeth pink,” he said. While Australian Dental Association spokeswoman Sue Ching-Yeoh said the extent of the damage is difficult to measure.

Inaccuracies are spreading about vaping and oral health

The Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA) reviewed a recently published inaccurate article linking vaping to gum disease. The Times newspaper recently published an article titled “Elfbars and me: I’m a vape addict, so will I get gum disease?”, in their health section. Among other things, the author inaccurately claims that using just one disposable vape is roughly equivalent to consuming the same amount of nicotine as in 45 cigarettes. This cannot even be explained by the IBVTA.

“The UK legal limits for these products are a maximum of 2 milliliters of liquid and 20 milligrams of nicotine per ml. That is a total of 40 mg of nicotine. Since the average nicotine content of a tobacco cigarette is 10-12 mg, it is difficult to understand how the journalist arrived at her figure of 45 cigarettes. It’s more like 4.”

The author of the article goes on to irresponsibly reference unsubstantiated claims made by teens in social media videos, claiming that vaping causes their gum disease. Professor Linda Bauld, Bruce and John Usher, professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh, commented on the piece saying it is a “great example of how not to write a health related article and how not to consult anyone from the UK who has research done to the subject”. She added that it was “unusually bad from The Times”.

Similarly, four dental experts from Newcastle University’s School of Dental Sciences have recently spoken out against some inaccuracies recently spread by two nutrition science teachers at Cardiff Metropolitan University’s School of Sport and Health Science, who have recently made several allegations about how vaping reportedly causes teeth damage.

Dr. Richard Holliday, Professor Elaine McColl, Anthony Weke and Zella Sayeed published a letter in Newcastle University’s British Dental Journal explaining how the claims are inaccurate.

(Video) Vaping and Oral Health: 5 Things You Should Know

“It is significant that all UK government agencies, including the NHS, are ignoring WHO advice. They support vaping knowing that it does not affect teeth nor lead to gum disease. They said they “want to alert UK dental professionals to the considered public health guidelines which basically conclude that for the best chances of quitting smoking one should use support and pharmacotherapy and that e-cigarettes could be part of that package.” .”

The experts explained that the two authors quoted a WHO poster and falsely claimed that nicotine causes a “high risk of oral and whole-body complications”. In fact, they added, nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) have been used safely for more than 30 years in the form of patches and gum.

In addition, they concluded, dental professionals in the UK should be made aware of the considered public health guidelines on the subject. The experts stressed that this guideline actually states that for the best chances of quitting smoking, one should use support and pharmacotherapy, adding “e-cigarettes can be part of that package.”

Context is key

In conclusion, many medical and oral health experts, as well as smoking cessation experts, emphasize the relative benefits of vaping for smokers who struggle to quit without assistance. While no one disputes that non-smokers should not take up vaping given the proven relative safety of the products, switching from smoking to vaping reduces health risks for smokers and improves their oral health.

Dentist advises smokers to switch to e-cigarettes to prevent oral cancer


The effects of vaping on oral health.. What does science tell us? - Health Care? ›

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.

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.

What does new research on the effects of vaping and oral health suggest about use? ›

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 is the dental study on vaping? ›

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.

How does vaping affect the oral flora? ›

People who used electronic cigarettes had unique microbial communities in their mouths that more closely resembled those of smokers than of nonsmokers. These communities may signal an increased risk of gum disease for those who use e-cigarettes.

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.

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.”

Do dentists care 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.

Can dentists tell if you have ever vaped? ›

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 doctors and dentists tell if you vape? ›

A dentist can't tell if you're vaping or not, but they can tell that you're consuming nicotine, whether through traditional cigarettes or electronic cigarettes. Nicotine leaves yellow and brown stains on teeth after it mixes with our saliva flow.

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.

What are three major health effects associated with vaping? ›

These aldehydes can cause lung disease, as well as cardiovascular (heart) disease. E-cigarettes also contain acrolein, a herbicide primarily used to kill weeds. It can cause acute lung injury and COPD and may cause asthma and lung cancer.

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 change your mouth? ›

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.

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 tongue fungus? ›

The most common dental health implications we see with vaping are irritation of the oral mucosa and higher rates of overgrowth of a fungus called Candida albicans. The overgrowth of this fungus can result in oral thrush, an infection in the mouth that requires treatment with anti-fungal medication.

Is vaping worse than nicotine gum? ›

Vaping gets more nicotine into the blood quicker than nicotine gum, so addresses cravings faster.

Can vaping cause gum recession? ›

Vaping and Your Smile

Vaping can cause gum recession due to the death of gum tissues. Aside from gums, nicotine in vapes can also reduce the amount of saliva in your mouth. A low amount of saliva can lead to dry mouth, plaque build-up, and increased risk of cavities.

Does vaping cause periodontal 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.

Does everyone who Vapes get gum disease? ›

Vaping exposes your gums to both nicotine and hot, drying vapour. It therefore also puts you at a higher risk of gum disease. Furthermore, nicotine masks the early warning signs of gum disease (swelling and bleeding when you brush).

How do you clean your mouth from vaping? ›

If You Vape, Pay Extra Attention to Your Dental Hygiene
  1. Brush your teeth twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  2. Floss daily.
  3. Drink water and rinse your mouth after using vaping products.
  4. Consider sucking on sugar-free candies or mints to help prevent dry mouth.
  5. Quit or limit your usage.
Feb 4, 2020

How can I vape without damaging my teeth? ›

Is there any way to minimize the side effects?
  1. 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.
  2. Drink water after you vape. ...
  3. Brush your teeth twice a day. ...
  4. Floss before bed. ...
  5. Visit a dentist on a regular basis.
Jan 14, 2019

How long does it take for nicotine to leave your system? ›

People also process nicotine differently depending on their genetics. 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.

Do Vapes corrode teeth? ›

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.

Can the orthodontist tell if you vape? ›

Ways Your Dentist Can Tell You Smoke or Vape

These can include: Bad breath (halitosis) Dry mouth. Yellow or brown nicotine stains on your teeth and tongue.

Can vaping cause leukoplakia? ›

Leukoplakia Causes

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 is nicotine stomatitis? ›

Nicotine stomatitis, also often called smoker's palate, is a reaction seen on the roof of the mouth caused by extreme heat in the mouth, most commonly from smoking. It is known by many other names including nicotinic stomatitis, stomatitis nicotina and smoker's keratosis.

Can dentists tell if you have had nicotine? ›

The truth is, yes, your dentist can tell if you have been smoking. Here are some ways that your dentist can tell if you are smoking: Nicotine can stain your teeth – when nicotine mixes with your saliva, it creates yellow or brown stains on your teeth. The more your smoke, the more the stain seems to accumulate.

Is vaping just as bad as cigarettes? ›

Are e-cigarettes less harmful than regular cigarettes? Yes—but that doesn't mean e-cigarettes are safe. E-cigarette aerosol generally contains fewer toxic chemicals than the deadly mix of 7,000 chemicals in smoke from regular cigarettes. However, e-cigarette aerosol is not harmless.

How long does it take for smoking to affect your teeth? ›

However, it's important to know that in as little as one week of smoking, your oral health may become noticeably compromised. But negative side effects can occur even after lighting up your first cigarette.

Can vaping damage your teeth? ›

How does vaping effect your oral health? Make no mistake, vaping is not good for your teeth. The main problem is the nicotine, which can cause a whole host of problems. Nicotine reduces blood flow, restricting the supply of nutrients and oxygen to soft tissues in the mouth, which can cause gums to recede.

Can vaping cause teeth problems? ›

It was concluded that vaping increases the chances of gum inflammation and periodontal disease. If this gum inflammation or periodontal disease is not controlled, you will gradually start losing your teeth. Some of the base liquids present in the E-cigarettes contain chemicals like propylene glycol and nicotine.

Do Vapes cause teeth problems? ›

Vaping can lead to gum disease, the symptoms of which include: Loss of teeth. Receding gums. Irritated, red or bleeding gums.

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.

Does vaping give you receding gums? ›

Vaping still involves the use of nicotine, which along with other ingredients found in e-cigarettes can eat away at the gum tissue and cause gum recession. Additionally, vaping can restrict blood flow to the gums, which can also lead to gum recession.

How do you fix your teeth after vaping? ›

Rinse the mouth with either mouthwash or water to reduce plaque building on the teeth and the accumulation of bacteria from the vaping liquid,” says Dr. Pushalkar. In addition, “a continuous and routine relationship with a dental professional is a major step in the right direction,” says Dr. Ebersol.

How long does it take for vaping to affect your health? ›

Exposure for just three days was enough to incur sufficient damage to their lungs, setting the stage for long-term chronic lung damage. This damage occurred both with e-cigarettes containing nicotine, and those with just the propylene glycol carrier fluid.

What is the common disease from vaping? ›

EVALI is a serious medical condition in which a person's lungs become damaged from substances contained in e-cigarettes and vaping products.

What is vapor 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?

Can the dentist tell if you vape once? ›

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.


1. How vaping can damage teeth
(CBC News: The National)
2. Vaping & Oral Health
(Advocates for Better Health)
3. What are the Effects of Smoking on Oral Health?
(Respiratory Therapy Zone)
4. What the science says about the safety of e-cigarettes
(CBS Mornings)
5. Vaping will DESTROY your mouth - 2022
(Atlanta Dental Spa)
6. Vaping & Smoking Can Affect Your Oral Health (Short) - BC Dental Association
(Your Dental Health)
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