Serco Wellbeing Team
Clearing the Air on Vaping and Oral Health
Provide by United Concordia - April 2023 Newsletter
We all know that smoking traditional tobacco products can impact your oral health. Not only is tobacco one of the biggest contributors to oral cancer, it can also stain your teeth and raise your risk for gum disease and tooth loss. But did you know an increasing amount of research shows the chemicals in vaping products can start to inflict damage – right where they enter and exit the body: your mouth and eyes?
There are several reasons why dentists and optometrists advise against vaping:
1. Dry Mouth – One of the most common side effects of vaping is dry mouth. Certain chemicals found in e-cigarettes can cause mouth dryness, resulting in bad breath, mouth sores and tooth decay.
2. Dry Eye – Vaping can cause chronic dry eye and a reduction in tear film. This is where the eyes do not produce sufficient moisture to keep the eyes wet, leading to scratchy, itchy, red or sore eyes and sensitivity to light.
3. Eye Stress – Over time, the use of vapes can create an imbalance in the oxygen levels in your eyes, which increases your risk of cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma.
4. Gum Irritation – Most vapes contain nicotine – an addictive chemical. Nicotine and other chemicals in these products restrict blood flow to the gums, creating an inflammatory response in gum tissues, which can contribute to various gum diseases.
5. Tooth Discoloration – The nicotine found in vapes can begin to stain your teeth over time, leading to discoloration, which may impact self-confidence and lead to a reluctance to smile
6. Bacterial Changes – Using vapes can create excess bacteria in your mouth that can cause tooth decay, cavities and gum disease. The aerosol from these products increases bacterial adhesion to tooth enamel, and the flavorings found in most of them contain similar chemical properties to those found in candies and acidic drinks.
Sources:1. Is Vaping Bad for Your Teeth? 7 Things to Know to Know About Its Effects on Your Oral Health; Healthline, 2019. Retrieved March 2023. 2. Does Vaping Stain Teeth? SportingSmiles, 2022. Retrieved March 2023. 3. Does vaping affect the eyes? Is it a safer alternative? The Seeing Eye Blog; Assil Gaur Eye Institute of Los Angeles, 2022. Retrieved March 2023. 4. The impact of vaping on ocular health: a literature review; National Library of Medicine, 2021. Retrieved March 2023.