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The Oral Health Effects of Vaping vs. Smoking

The Oral Health Effects of Vaping vs Smoking

It’s common knowledge these days that smoking can have disastrous effects on your oral health, including yellowing your teeth. But is vaping any better? In this article, we’ll dive into how smoking and vaping affect your oral health and whether vaping is bad for your teeth.

What We Know About Vaping and Oral Health

More people than ever are switching from smoking to vaping to help them quit smoking. We all know about the negative effects of smoking on teeth and gums. These effects are often very visible. However, many people might still be unsure whether vaping is really any better.

There are only a few published studies on the effects of vaping on teeth. But the evidence we do have certainly suggests that vaping is far less harmful than smoking. It will certainly not have the same long-term negative effects as smoking. So, let’s take a closer look at what we do know.

The Trouble with Tar

Tar is a chemical substance created when tobacco is burned. It’s the main culprit for the teeth staining that many smokers suffer from. Tar can very quickly stain your teeth a yellow color. Over time with regular smoking, your teeth can even darken to an unpleasant brown color. Worse than that, tar is a cocktail of thousands of chemicals, many of which are extremely toxic.

Vaping does not contain tobacco or involve burning anything. Therefore, it does not produce any tar. In a 2021 study, some tobacco scientists compared the staining effects of vapor with some other products. 

The scientists specially prepared sections of cow’s teeth to simulate human enamel and saliva. The study concluded that teeth exposed to just e-cigarette vapor showed little to no color change after 86 days of exposure. On the other hand, samples exposed to cigarette smoke, red wine, and coffee showed visible signs of staining after just five days of exposure.

Can Nicotine Stain Your Teeth?

The jury’s out on this one. It is certainly true that as nicotine oxidizes, it can develop a yellow color. However, from the study above, we know that nicotine-containing vapor doesn’t seem to stain teeth as badly as red wine or coffee. 

Many vapers who give up smoking completely notice a big change in the color of their teeth once they quit. Getting a specialist dental hygienist to clean your teeth regularly is a great idea once you have quit. It’s quite an investment, but over a few sessions, the change can be quite amazing.

Vaping Versus Smoking and Gum Disease

Smokers are significantly more at risk of gum disease than non-smokers. Smoking is known to harm gum health and can cause a range of problems. These include swollen, sore, and bleeding gums, and even tooth loss. All of these issues are caused by the toxic chemicals deposited in the tar in tobacco smoke. Some scientists believe the reduction in smokers’ blood oxygen levels can make this worse.

But what about vaping? In short, yes, vaping may still have the potential to cause some issues with your gums. However, this is more comparable with nicotine gum or lozenges than smoking.

More Trouble with Tar

While many of the most serious effects smoking has on your teeth are caused by tar, there are still some issues that can be caused by vaping. One of the most common side effects of vaping is a dry mouth. Dry mouth is most often associated with the base ingredients of e-liquid: PG and VG (propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin).

PG and VG are both hygroscopic. This means they absorb water from the environment around them, including inside your mouth. Removing moisture and the resulting dry mouth may put you at higher risk of gum disease. The easiest way to combat this? Drink more water, especially during and after vaping.

More importantly, nicotine is a “vasoconstrictor.” That means it temporarily narrows blood vessels, and there are a lot of those in your mouth. This means nicotine use might cause slower healing. More research is needed to fully understand the long-term effects of vaping on oral health.

The good news is that while vaping is not necessarily great for your gums, it seems so far that it’s nowhere near as harmful as smoking. One study in 2018 compared people who smoke, people who vape, and people who do not. The study found that people who smoke had higher levels of gum inflammation. The people who just vaped had similar gum health to those who neither vaped nor smoked.

Conclusion

Switching from smoking to vaping could have a positive impact on your oral health. Vaping is less likely to stain your teeth than smoking. It also doesn’t expose you to the harmful tar and toxic chemicals found in cigarette smoke. However, it is essential to remember that vaping isn’t entirely without risks.

Vaping can cause dry mouth and may still have some effects on your gums. To mitigate these effects, staying hydrated is crucial. Drinking plenty of water during and after vaping can help keep your mouth moist and reduce the risk of gum disease.

While more research is needed to fully understand the long-term impacts of vaping, current evidence suggests that vaping is a much better alternative to smoking when it comes to your teeth and overall oral health. So, if you’re considering making the switch from smoking to vaping, it’s likely a step in the right direction for your oral health.

At Snowman, we’re committed to offering high-quality, safer alternatives to smoking, including disposable e-cigarettes, nicotine pouches, and energy pouches. Explore our products today and take the first step towards better oral health and a healthier lifestyle.

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