05/06/2019 by BANDON DENTAL
Smoking, Vaping and Dental Health
By now, most people know and understand the effects smoking has on dental health. You can almost always distinguish a smoker from a non-smoker, just by looking at the condition of their teeth. Yet, while advertising smoking is banned in Ireland and many other countries, millions still choose to smoke. However, in more recent times, more and more people have swapped cigarettes for vapes, in an attempt to ditch the nicotine addiction. In this blog post, we explore the effects smoking and vaping has on your dental hygiene.
Multiple studies has shown that smoking wreaks havoc with dental health and hygiene. Bad breath is a very common symptom for those who smoke, but smoking can also lead to some long term effects on your dental health, which we've listed below.
- Infection: When you smoke, the good bacteria inside of your mouth stripped away leaving you open and prone to infection. Your mouth's lack of defence system renders you unable to deal with infection in the way that you would if you were a non-smoker. This allows bacteria to build up, causing a multitude of mouth problems.
- Staining: Bacteria buildups caused by smoking leaves you open to yellowing of the teeth, which can get into the enamel of your teeth causing long term discolouration or 'yellowing'... With bacteria remaining inside of your mouth because of a lack of defence system and teeth begin to rot, tooth loss follows.
- Blood flow: With smoking creating bacteria buildups and a lack of good oxygen getting to the mouth, tobacco will aggressively damage tooth enamel, weakening them and leaving you prone to long-term dental problems.
Studies have shown that while vaping can be damaging to your oral health, it is not near as damaging as smoking. This is due to the lack of tar and nicotine in e-liquid. However, the rise of vaping is still quite new territory which requires further studies ti determine any long-term effects on dental health. While the scientists forge ahead with that, here is what we do know about vaping and dental health.
Bacteria: We mentioned the effects of bacteria build up caused by smoking, has on dental health. This also poses a problem for those who vape. One study revealed that oral bacteria was higher in those who engage in the use of e-liquid aerosol. Bacteria build up can lead to tooth decay, cavities and gum disease.
Mouth Dryness: It has been revealed the some q-liquids which contain propylene glycol, can cause mouth dryness. Chronic mouth dryness can lead to issues such as mouth ulcers, bad breath and even tooth decay.
Inflammation: The use of vapes has been said to trigger an inflammatory response in gum tissue. Ongoing gum inflammation can ultimately lead to things such as periodental diseases (gingivitis) and cause DNA damage. When DNA cells in the mouth become damaged they are unable to divide and grow which leads to the cell aging and cell death. Tooth loss, bone loss and other problems occur as a result.
While smoking has proven long-term side effects that are generally well known, vaping still requires a lot of research to determine the full effects it has on dental health. That said, if you are a 'vaper' you can take some pre-cautionary steps to limit damage to your oral hygiene/health.
- Limit the amount of nicotine in your e-liquid
- Drink water after vaping to avoid dry mouth
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Visit your dentist on a regular basis