I used to look at vaping with rose-tinted glasses, often waxing lyrical of its superiority to smoking. However, recent concerning reports coupled with the surge of vape-related health incidents have knocked me off my high horse.
Don’t get me wrong—vaping, by and large, is still the safer alternative to smoking. Unfortunately, it’s still unhealthy.
Vaping can be referred to as the act of inhaling and exhaling vapor (aerosol) produced out of e-juices by a vaping device. Now, a vape juice consists of numerous ingredients such as vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycerin (PG), flavoring, and nicotine.
The ingredients, though considered safe by the FDA, can be detrimental to one’s oral health when consumed in large amounts. Before we discuss its implications on oral hygiene, let’s answer the million-dollar question: does vaping make your teeth yellow?
Does Vaping Make Your Teeth Yellow?
The pores of your teeth are similar to the pores of the skin—they both absorb the elements they’re exposed to. So, when you smoke excessively, the pores of your teeth absorb the nicotine, ash, and tar found in cigarettes.
Upon absorption, your teeth are left discolored (stained yellow).
Although e-juice doesn’t contain tar and ash, it still has nicotine and when nicotine is exposed to oxygen, it produces a yellow hue. Fortunately, unlike tar, nicotine doesn’t play a major role in staining the teeth yellow.
However, be advised that some e-juices do contain dyes and flavor colorings that can cause stains on your teeth.
So, to answer the question simply, vaping doesn’t make your teeth yellow. The e-liquid and vaping process don’t have the stain-causing elements, tar and ash, that cigarettes have.
However, let’s not act like e-juice is some sort of an elixir. Let’s not turn a blind eye to the other harmful effects of vaping on your teeth.
5 Harmful Effects of Vaping on Your Teeth and Gums
1. Gum Recession
Nicotine plays an atrocious role in reducing blood flow in the system. The reduced blood flow in your veins impacts your teeth and gums negatively as they don’t get the required supply of nutrients and oxygen.
This results in the death of gum tissues and gum recession. With the gum tissues receding, you can expect increased tooth sensitivity, cavities, and in extreme cases, loss of teeth too.
2. Dry Mouth
The nicotine found in e-juices can also decrease the production of saliva in your mouth.
Devoid of saliva, your body will not be able to protect and maintain your oral cavity. This will result in a dry mouth and an increase in bacteria and plaque buildup.
The aerosol (vapor) produced by vaping devices also encourages the buildup of bacteria, primarily in the pits and crevices of the teeth. In the end, you will suffer from mouth sores, bad breath, and tooth decay.
Nicotine is not the only ingredient in a vape juice that can cause mouth dryness. Scientific reports indicate that the propylene glycol (PG) in e-liquid is equally responsible for causing a dry mouth.
3. Grinding, Clenching, and Gnashing of Teeth
The nicotine ingested during vaping sessions not only satisfies your nicotine cravings but also serves as a muscle stimulant. In layman’s terms, nicotine encourages grinding, clenching, and gnashing of teeth.
Under such intense stress, your teeth will be susceptible to damage.
4. Cell Death
There have been reports suggesting that vaping causes cell death. Inhaling an unhealthy amount of aerosols has been found to harm the DNA of a person and cause inflammation in the gums.
Such circumstances can prevent cells from growing. Without rapid growth, the cell aging process is expedited and its death rate is increased.
Now, cell death can cause a plethora of oral health problems including tooth loss, tooth decay, bad breath, dry mouth, and other numerous types of periodontal diseases.
5. Tooth Decay
Despite being sweet, the vegetable glycerin (VG) found in e-liquid isn’t harmful to the teeth on its own. Unfortunately, the VG in e-juices are mixed with different flavorings and such blends are destructive and can weaken the enamel.
With weakened enamel, bacteria have a much easier time getting stuck to the softened teeth. The bacteria then start wreaking havoc, causing rampant tooth decay.
How to Avoid the Side Effects of Vaping on Teeth and Gums?
I know that it isn’t feasible for you to quit vaping altogether. However, there are some things/methods you can adopt to lower the side effects of vaping on your teeth and gums.
If you want to keep smiling from ear to ear and flash your teeth without worries, pay attention to the following points.
- Opt for vape juices with low nicotine strength/content.
- Remember to stay hydrated during your vaping sessions.
- Brush your teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste. Be careful not to brush immediately after vaping as doing so can weaken the enamel; wait for at least half-an-hour before brushing.
- Remember to keep your gums healthy too. To do that, floss often.
Planning to stop smoking but don’t know how? Reach out for vaping devices to take your first step towards a smoke-free life. There are many vaping devices that provide you a smoking-like experience, albeit in a healthier manner.
Lower the nicotine strength of your vape juice as you become less reliant on nicotine. Then, quit vaping altogether.
Remember, vaping should be used as a medium to help you stop smoking. Don’t abuse it.