Nicotine, which is found in most vapes can cause tooth discoloration over time. Nicotine can contribute to the formation of yellow or brown stains on the teeth, similar to the staining caused by traditional tobacco products or coffee.
E-cigarette aerosol contains numerous chemicals, including propylene glycol and glycerin, which can alter the balance of bacteria in the oral cavity. Disturbances in the oral microbiome can increase the risk of dental problems such as tooth decay. The aerosols can also put one in danger of gum disease.
Vaping does not just affect the teeth as we’ve seen. It can contribute to dry mouth (xerostomia). E-cigarettes produce an aerosol or vapor that can reduce saliva production. Saliva plays a crucial role in maintaining oral health by neutralizing acids, rinsing away food particles, and helping to remineralize teeth. Dry mouth can increase the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.
The chemicals and substances in e-cigarette aerosol can cause gum inflammation, leading to red, swollen, and tender gums. Prolonged gum inflammation can contribute to gum disease. Eventually, this can potentially impair the healing process after oral surgery or dental procedures. The chemicals and toxins can interfere with the body’s ability to heal, leading to delayed recovery and increased risk of complications.
You might be surprised to learn that even the heat and chemicals from vaping devices can cause damage to oral tissues. The high temperatures generated by e-cigarettes can lead to burns on the soft tissues in the mouth, including the lips, tongue, and oral mucosa.
There’s more and more information being published as we learn about the effects of vaping and e-cigarettes on oral health. While kicking the addiction may not necessarily be in the cards, talking to your dentist is. It’s important to be open with your dentist so they can provide you with the best care and take care of any issues you may have as a result of smoking.