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Can vaping damage your teeth?

woman vaping
woman vaping

In recent years, Vaping has skyrocketed, especially since the late 2010s, which saw a significant rise in the popularity of vaping,  particularly among teenagers and young adults. In fact, research has indicated that 11-17-year-olds in the UK experimenting with vapes is up by 50% from 2022, and this figure is rising. 

And, in light of the recent announcement by the UK government to ban disposable vapes, Dr Parneet Sehmi, Principal Dentist at Hermes London Dental Clinic, emphatically supports the ban, shedding light on the potential permanent damage that vaping can cause to teeth and gums. 

But first and foremost, what is vaping?

Vaping, or the use of e-cigarettes, is frequently promoted as a safer alternative to smoking tobacco, which is one of the main reasons why vaping has increased in popularity. However, there has been little research into understanding or predicting what the long-term effects might be. 

Vaping devices are battery-operated devices that people use to inhale an aerosol, which typically contains nicotine, different chemicals and a variety of different flavourings. Unlike traditional cigarettes which burn tobacco, vaping heats a liquid, which turns the e-liquid into an aerosol that the user inhales.

Of course, if you’re considering vaping, you should always talk to a healthcare professional about the potential health effects. 

Can vaping damage your teeth?

Research has already indicated that vaping can damage your teeth and gums in a number of different ways, including the following:

Cause dry mouth:  Just like traditional smoking, vaping can also cause dry mouth. And as saliva plays a vital role in washing away food particles and bacteria, having a reduced amount of saliva in the mouth can actually cause cases of gum disease and tooth decay. 

Stained teeth. Although vaping does not cause as much staining as tobacco, there are a number of vaping liquids that can cause discolouration over time. You should always keep this in mind. 

An increased risk of gum disease:  The irritants found in e-liquids, and the effects of nicotine can also contribute to inflammation and irritation of the gums, leading to an increased risk of developing gum disease. 

Of course, at this stage, it is important to note that the long-term effects of vaping on oral health are still being widely researched. However, recent evidence suggests that vaping can have negative consequences for your teeth and gums.

Dr Sehmi said: “While vaping has undeniably helped countless smokers stay off cigarettes, the widespread availability of artificial flavours in disposable vapes has led to a concerning increase in young children, who might never have smoked, experimenting with vaping.”

“Despite being less harmful than smoking tobacco, the use of e-cigarettes still exposes the mouth and teeth to the effects of hot, drying vapour and a variety of harmful substances – including artificial flavourings and nicotine.” 

What are the three main problems vaping can cause?

Constricted blood flow

Present in most e-cigarettes, nicotine is highly addictive and harmful to overall health as it constricts blood vessels and impairs the blood flow to the gums, causing a number of oral health concerns. 

Dr Sehmi said: “Not only is nicotine highly addictive, but it interferes with the gum’s ability to heal quickly, affecting the natural ability to fight infection and replenish tissue. This can have a serious impact on your oral health, and result in serious, irreparable dental issues in the long term.” 


Damaged enamel

Vapes come in hundreds of different flavours, which is one of the main reasons that they are highly attractive to young people. However, they also contain artificial flavourings, which Dr Sehmi warns puts people at greater risk of developing cavities, as regular use increases the spread of bacteria. 

Dr Sehmi warns: “The sweet nature of e-liquid, a main reason for vapes being so appealing to children, promotes bacteria growth and can significantly increase the risk of developing cavities compared to those who do not vape. This can weaken the enamel and leave teeth vulnerable to tooth decay.”


Gum disease

Gum disease can lead to tooth loss and can be incredibly debilitating. And vaping has been widely linked to gum disease, which starts with the accumulation of plaque, and leads to symptoms such as red, swollen gums, bleeding while brushing or flossing, and persistent bad breath. 


Dr Sehmi said: “Smokers are twice as likely to have gum disease compared to non-smokers, and as nicotine constricts blood flow, early signs of gum disease can easily be overlooked.

“Without proper care and intervention, gum disease can lead to gum recession, tooth loss, and even affect the underlying bone structure. It is vital that if you are a regular smoker or vaper, you try to limit your nicotine intake, follow best oral hygiene practices, and have routine check-ups with your dentist.”

Can dentists tell if you vape?

As vaping can have an significant impact on your oral health, more and more dentists than ever before are able to identify the effects on the mouth, teeth and gums caused by vaping. 

While, your dentist can spot the impact of vaping during your check-up, you should always be honest with your dentist when discussing your oral health and lifestyle. 

Reducing the impact of vaping on your oral health

The good news is that if you vape and are looking to quit, there are several things that you can do to reduce the impact of vaping on your teeth, gums and overall oral health. 

These include the following :

Quit vaping altogether – If you are looking to quit vaping, there’s lots of help, support and resources that you can turn to! So, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. 

Look for alternatives – Today there are lots of NRT products (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) that come in various forms such as patches, gum, lozenges, sprays, and inhalers.

Stay hydrated – Dehydration caused by vaping has a negative impact on the natural bacterial defences in your mouth. With this in mind, ensuring that you drink plenty of water can help to counteract this damage.

Non-Nicotine Alternatives – Non-Nicotine Alternatives such as chewing gum, flavoured toothpicks or straws, and water can help suppress nicotine addiction. 

Of course, you should always focus on maintaining a good oral hygiene routine by completing daily flossing, cleaning with brushing.  

Why choose Hermes London Dental Clinic?

Here at Hermes London Dental Clinic,  we fully understand how difficult it is to handle any dental emergency, especially if it involves your little one. We are an emergency dentist in London, located in the very heart of the city near Victoria. We provide a 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week so that our patients need not worry about any dental problems out of hours.

And the good news is, you’re always in good hands. Our professional and highly experienced general and cosmetic dentists carry out our dental procedures to very high standards using only the latest materials and equipment. 

Our surgeries are state of the art and maintained to the highest of standards. We are members of the BDA Good Practice and are GDC registered. We continually reinvest in our staff with training to enable us to provide you with the very best dental care.


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