What Vaping Can Do to Teeth

Vaping and Teeth: What Can Happen

In 2020, the National Drugs Library established that 14.9% of the Irish population has used e-cigarettes or vapes at least once in their lifetime. In 2024, the number is steadily increasing… but what effect does vaping have an on your teeth? And if so, how bad is vaping for your teeth, or oral hygiene in general? 

Generally, any form of nicotine is bad for your teeth. According to the National Institute of Health, smokers have a higher risk of receding gums, tooth loss, and decay as compared to non-smokers. But what does this mean for vaping? In an article from 2023 in the National Library of Medicine, scientists concluded that e-cigarette users showed higher levels of inflammatory mediators and oxidative stress, as compared to non-smokers. 

How Bad Is Vaping for Teeth? 

Since these are preventable conditions, it’s easy to conclude that nicotine – and vapes – are at the forefront of this. While vaping is a fairly new invention, we might not know exactly the full extent of the damage to our teeth. However, it’s clear that vaping itself is bad for teeth – and for your dental hygiene in general. 

As of now, what we do know is that a combination of sugary e-liquids, coupled with nicotine levels, can seriously affect users’ oral health. To put this into perspective, a cigarette generally contains between 8 to 20 milligrams of nicotine. However, a 20-milligram, 600-puff vape contains the equivalent of a pack of 20 cigarettes. Plus, with the sweet flavours of e-liquids, it’s much easier to puff away on a vape, without wondering how much nicotine it contains, or how much you’re consuming. 

How Vaping Affects Your Teeth 

While long-term effects are unknown as yet, we do know that vaping can negatively affect your teeth and oral health. When you smoke a vape, you’re inhaling chemicals through your mouth. While vaping, these chemicals come into contact with your teeth and gums. 

The World Dental Organisation reports that with regular use, e-cigarettes and vapes can cause mouth irritation and periodontal damage. With regular use, this means that vaping can cause increased plaque buildup. In addition to this, the chemicals in vape liquid can cause higher levels of localised inflammatory markers – but what does that mean? 

Vaping can cause discoloration of teeth.

In this situation, the cells in your mouth react negatively to the chemicals in the e-cigarette, which causes inflammation. This could be anything from discomfort and irritation to lesions. Additionally, vaping can also cause tooth discolouration and decay. It could also lead to decreased enamel hardness, causing cracks in your teeth – or the loss of them altogether. 

What Vaping Can Do to Your Oral Health 

With long-term use, vaping can seriously affect your teeth. However, the chemicals in vape liquid can also alter the bacterial makeup of your mouth. Combined with dry mouth, which is another side-effect of vaping, this can prove to be a breeding ground for bad bacteria. Over time, this can cause tonsil stones and halitosis – and these are the mildest of the issues you could face. 

As previously mentioned, vaping can cause cracks in your teeth. On occasion, bacteria can seep into these cracks, resulting in infections. These cracks are difficult to clean by brushing or flossing, as your toothbrush and floss cannot get into these tiny spaces. In more severe situations, this could even result in a dental extraction at your dentist’s office. 

What Vaping Does to Gums 

If your vape contains nicotine, this could cause additional issues with your teeth and gums. Nicotine can reduce blood flow to your gums, drastically reducing their oxygen supply. Over time, this can cause your gums to recede, reducing the support they give your teeth. If left untreated, this can result in your teeth falling out. 

dental examination

In addition to this, vaping can also cause swelling and irritation in your gums. If left unchecked and untreated, this can escalate to periodontal disease. You may eventually need surgery to address this, as well as frequent visits to a dentist to ensure that your teeth and gums are in healthy condition. 

How Can I Prevent This? 

If you’re a smoker, or regularly use a vape, you’ll want to keep your teeth in mint condition, given how much vaping can affect your oral hygiene. Here are two ways to ensure that you can prevent or minimise damage to your teeth. 

See a Dental Hygienist 

If you’re concerned about the damage done to your teeth by vaping, consider paying a visit to a dental hygienist. Here, a dental hygienist will assist in maintaining good oral hygiene. Plus, they can also help identify dental health problems early on, potentially preventing dental health issues from escalating. Furthermore, regular visits to a dental hygienist can help keep your teeth clean, avoiding bacterial buildup from vaping.  

Stop Vaping 

It might sound easy enough, but cutting vaping – and nicotine – out of your daily routine is an excellent way to preserve your teeth, and boost your oral hygiene. In fact, the NHS reported that over 2022, 178,198 people quit smoking with the help of NHS Stop Smoking Services. Similarly in Ireland, the HSE offers services to encourage quitting smoking and vaping. 

While it may be difficult at first, it’s difficult to argue with the long-term effect. Over time, your gums will thank you, and with regular scale and polishing, you’ll have a brilliant smile to dazzle with. Plus, you’ll also avoid the risks of periodontal disease, tooth decay, and the buildup of bad bacteria in your mouth – which could all result in halitosis. 

Bandon Dental Can Help! 

Whether you’re in the process of quitting vaping, or just want to take better care of your teeth, let Bandon Dental help you. We encourage better dental hygiene through services like teeth cleaning, scaling and polishing, fillings, and check-ups. 

We also provide cosmetic procedures, such as teeth whitening, to help you get rid of those nicotine stains, alongside bridgework, Invisalign, and more. For a dentist or dental hygienist in Cork, contact Bandon Dental today to book an appointment or a check-up. 


Author Bio: Deirdre Dunne

Bandon Dental’s dedicated owner. A highly qualified Dental Hygienist, Deirdre has over a decade of experience, with a diploma in dental hygiene from Cork University’s Dental School and Hospital. Deirdre is committed to continuous up-skilling and investment in the most up-to-date technology in our practice. This ensures our patients receive the highest standard of care, as Bandon Dental stays abreast of the latest advancements in dental hygiene for optimal oral health.

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