What’s Vaping Doing to Your Teeth?

Smoking is bad for your health: there’s no way around it, and every part of your body suffers when you indulge in the vice, including your teeth. Vaping, now trendy as a way to avoid some of the more harmful aspects of nicotine use, comes with its own health risks. The risks of vaping or e-cigarette usage are becoming more apparent as time passes, but it’s been clear from the start that this bad habit can still harm the health of your teeth and gums.

Vaping Causes Dry Mouth

Vaping might seem like a less harmful alternative for those who wish to cut down or quit their nicotine habit, but it comes with a nasty side effect not usually seen in those who smoke traditional cigarettes: dry mouth. The vapor produced by the e-cigarette actually absorbs some of the moisture from your mouth due to the inclusion of humectants in the vape juice. Additionally, the nicotine found in vape pens and cartridges reduces saliva production. 
When you experience chronic dry mouth, plaque and bacteria build up in your mouth. You might notice a foul odor to your breath, but that’s not where the damage ends. Dry mouth can cause gum recession and tooth decay. While quitting vaping is obviously the most permanent solution to your dry mouth problems, those unable to quit immediately can offset the drying effects of e-cigarette usage by staying hydrated and chewing sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production. 

Vaping Can Cause Gum Recession

Your gums are just as important as your teeth for a healthy mouth. The nicotine found in vape juice causes restricted blood flow throughout your body. Without enough blood flow, oxygen that would normally circulate through your body doesn’t reach your gums enough. As a result, the tissue that makes up your gums becomes injured or even dies off, leading to receding gums. This issue is also present in those who use other nicotine products, like cigarettes, chewing tobacco or cigars. 
You might notice an increased sensitivity in your teeth after vaping, bleeding gums while brushing or even an increase in tooth pain or cavities. Enough harm to your gums from nicotine usage can develop into full-blown periodontal disease and may lead to tooth loss.

Because all nicotine products can cause this issue, it’s important to quit if you can or at least reduce your nicotine usage as much as possible. 

Vaping Makes Tooth Grinding Worse

If you grind your teeth when you’re stressed, nervous or upset, vaping can make things worse. Nicotine is a muscle stimulant and can cause or worsen bruxism. Unlike traditional cigarettes, which usually have a soft fiber filter, vaping paraphernalia has a hard mouthpiece, making it tempting to chew and satisfy your oral fixation in an extreme way — which can get your teeth into the habit of gnawing, clenching and other motions that can damage your smile. 
It doesn’t take a dentist to tell you that chewing on hard things and tooth-on-tooth grinding can cause major damage. Broken teeth, an increase in cavities and worn enamel are just some of the risks you face when you vape. Bruxism is a hard habit to get out of. And when it’s caused by an involuntary muscle spasm due to high nicotine usage, it’s almost impossible. If you grind your teeth primarily during sleep, a mouthguard may help, as might chewing sugar-free gum. 

Tell Your Doctor About Your Vaping

Very few people want to admit they have a bad habit like smoking or vaping, but it’s important to be honest with your dentist. Not only will being upfront about your vaping make it easier to combat the possible damage caused by the habit, but your dentist can be extra vigilant about problems, possibly catching them and remedying them before they become a catastrophic ordeal. 

How We Can Help

The first step to making sure you’ve got a healthy mouth is to make an appointment. The office of Drs. Krieger and Hur is ready and waiting to have you in our chair. You can reach us by phone at (201) 560-0606 or you can book your spot via email by clicking here. Our office is a judgment-free zone, and we want to support you in keeping your mouth as healthy as possible, whether you smoke, vape or are trying your best to quit. 

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