Does Vaping Affect Your Teeth?

Posted by Pure E-Liquids on 25th Apr 2023

Doctor Holding Cigarette in One Hand and Vape in the Other

As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “It is health which is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver”. From good mental health to the body functioning correctly, the less time spent at the doctors or dentists the better.

If you don’t have the correct oral hygiene, for example, it can lead to all kinds of issues, from gum disease and tooth decay to bad breath. A question often asked is whether vaping affects your teeth and contributes to bad oral hygiene. Or as a replacement for cigarettes, does it improve any issues with your teeth and gums?

Short Answer - Vaping Can Impact Oral Health

E-cigarette e-liquids are better for your health than smoking cigarettes, as recent research indicates. This is because nicotine is the only common ingredient that’s also found in cigarettes. However, nicotine can be bad for your teeth and also sweet ingredients found in vape juice can be equally detrimental to your oral health.

As cigarettes have been around for much longer than electronic cigarettes, medical studies are more extensive. And they have shown that tobacco is the main factor pointing towards health issues and even cancer.

While nicotine on its own is not considered a life-threatening substance, it contains properties that can lead to addiction and milder side effects. For instance, it acts in a negative way to reduce blood supply to the gums. So, whether you smoke or vape with nicotine, this can cause infections and even recede the gums to expose the root of your teeth.

Can You Get Cavities When Vaping E-Liquids?

Yes, you can potentially get cavities from vape juice, because of the nature of e-liquids. Cavities are tiny holes and opening directly in your teeth which form when there are damaged areas in the hard surfaces via the build-up of plaque.

These are caused by multiples issues, including:

  • Acidic build-up
  • Not maintaining good oral health from brushing and/or flossing regularly
  • Indulging in sugary foods
  • Not managing bacteria which form orally

While many of these warning signs do not relate to vaping, inhaling e-liquids which contain sweet ingredients such as Vegetable Glycerine and sweeteners can contribute to decay. Sugar is the main cause of plaque issues and is often found in e-liquids because of the different flavour options, which are often based on desserts, fruits or sweet shop candies.

Woman Vaping

Can Dentists Recognise Who Uses a Vape?

In most cases, if you vape it’s more than likely that you smoked in the past or still do as a combination to wean yourself off cigarettes. Therefore, there is a high chance you already have bad oral health because of the dangers and daily issues linked with smoking. And when you factor in vaping is advised as a replacement which still contains plenty of acidic elements and sweet ingredients, it’s expected that your dentist will recognise these clear signs straight away.

The positive thing about vaping compared to smoking is you have greater control over what is in your e-liquid. A best-case scenario is selecting a 0% nicotine e-liquid with a mild sweet taste (or preferably flavourless vape juice) which simply replaces the hand-to-mouth action of a cigarette.

Is it Ok to Vape After a Tooth Extraction?

No, it is advised by medical professionals not to for many reasons. Because they have operated on your mouth to remove one or more teeth, you need to avoid vaping and especially smoking for at least 48 hours because it will increase complications. Not only will pain increase from your teeth and gums, but a medical condition known as dry socket may occur as you have not allowed enough time for the procedure to heal naturally.

When a blood clot fails to form after the procedure, it can dissolve or dislodge before the wound heals. That can then lead to toothache, debris forming and potentially many other complications. Therefore, dentists advise keeping away from vaping or smoking for at least 48 hours.

Any Other Issues from Vaping/Smoking?

There are plenty of other dilemmas that crop up when vaping or smoking. Nicotine creates scenarios where you may grind your teeth because it stimulates the mouth and mind. This in turn wears down enamel, which unfortunately does not grow back.

Dehydration may also occur because the properties of e-liquids and cigarettes reduce saliva and cause dry mouth. So always keep a bottle of water handy if you need to do one or both.

In addition, we know from research into smoking that stains and/or yellowing of the teeth occur when inhaling nicotine and other substances relating to the two habits.

And finally, bad breath can occur from both because more bacteria forms orally than from a person who neither smokes nor vapes.

Final Thoughts

It’s like any content we have covered on the site relating to medical issues. We do not claim to be medical experts but from the studies we have seen to date from reputable organisations, vaping is not beneficial for oral health when considering the nicotine and sweeteners involved.

However, it’s certainly an upgrade on smoking with far less dangerous chemicals, which years of research into cigarettes show can be life threatening when thinking about oral hygiene. Doctors don't advise to start vaping either we should clarify.

But if you want to quit smoking, and recognise the risks for your oral health that stem from years of cigarettes, switching to vaping until you’re ready to quit both for good is an alternative. And in the meantime, opt for a mild-flavoured e-liquid which is less sugary and contains as little amount of nicotine possible to increase the chances of good oral health.

As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “It is health which is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver”. From good mental health to the body functioning correctly, the less time spent at the doctors or dentists the better.