Research shows that oral health in your childhood and teens will directly impact oral health into adulthood. Per the National Institute of Health (NIH), bacterial colonies can outlast childhood, and some damage is irreversible. Vaping not only creates an environment that harmful bacteria love, but it can change the way your teeth grow.
If you’re already receiving orthodontic treatment like braces, or if you’re concerned about the effects of vaping on your long-term health, you should know the dangers and how it can affect your teeth far into the future.
Vaping Causes Gum Disease and Tooth Decay
Like it or not, your mouth is chock full of germs–good and bad. When the good germs outnumber the bad, the microbiome is in good working order. When the bad germs outnumber the good…well, you can expect things to go haywire pretty quickly.
The American Heart Association discusses some recent studies linking vaping to gum disease. One study found that gum disease was significantly more prevalent in those who vaped than those who didn’t (43 percent compared to 28).
There are a few theories about why this may be, including:
- The sticky, sweet, acidic substances in vapes help bad bacteria to prosper.
- Nicotine decreases blood flow in the gums, per the National Institute of Health (NIH).
- Vegetable glycerin, a common component in vape juice, helps bacteria stick to the teeth according to the American Dental Association (ADA).
- Vaping dries out your mouth (NIH), and dry mouth puts you at higher risk for tooth decay, per the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
- Your mouth becomes more hospitable to bad bacteria when you vape, per Tufts University.
- Vapes weaken enamel, making teeth more vulnerable to decay and injury.
- Vaping irritates the gums, sometimes leading to gum damage and permanent gum recession.
Vaping Can Change the Way Your Teeth Grow
In Dr. Schatz’s interview on KABB Fox, he discussed some of these complications of vaping, including that nicotine affects the movement and positioning of your teeth. As vaping damages your gums, you begin to fight a losing battle concerning the orientation of your teeth.
According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), gum recession and gum disease caused by vaping can make your teeth less responsive to orthodontic treatment and more likely to regress to previous positions. Your teeth can also become more prone to damage and breakage if you vape while you have braces.
Vaping Doesn’t Just Affect Your Braces or Invisalign
Yes, vaping will affect the way your teeth look. Your teeth can yellow, loosen, become crooked, and crack. However, the dangers of vaping aren’t just aesthetic. The effects of gum disease, such as receding gums and bone density loss, are for the most part irreversible.
In addition, research is still being done about the potential of vaping to cause oral cancer, including one study published in Tobacco Induced Diseases, citing “numerous” potential carcinogens in e-cigarettes. Vaping isn’t safe for your mouth, your heart, or your lungs.
Choose Schatz Orthodontics for Your San Antonio Orthodontist
Dr. Schatz is a board-certified orthodontist committed to providing Texas teens who are recovering from the effects of vaping with preventative care and treatment. He is a member of the AAO, the ADA, and the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO). His team can provide well-rounded oral health and orthodontic care no matter the state of your dental health.
To make an appointment, call 210-940-1917 or fill out our contact form.
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22610 US Highway 281 North, Suite 201
San Antonio, TX 78258
Phone: (210) 494-4606