Kids Who Vape: The Impact on Their Teeth and Mouth

By Dr. Brett Silverman | Feb 24, 2021 | General Oral Care
Kids Who Vape: The Impact on Their Teeth and Mouth

(updated March 2024)

You should vape! It’s the next best thing! It’s good for you! It tastes amazing! You have to try it! It’s healthy!

We’ve all heard the rumors and reviews.

Vaping was originally created as a “healthier” substitute for adults who wanted to stop smoking. However, it became rapidly accessible and widespread in the world of young teens.

Unfortunately, studies have shown that teens believe vaping to be the least harmful of any drugs because it does not release smoke. It’s supposedly the newer, healthier alternative to cigarettes.

But is it actually? Can inhaling vapor have just as much or more effect on oral health as cigarettes?

Some may be surprised to find out that the answer is actually yes.

Vaping is not a healthy alternative. In fact, vaping causes a lot of dental and oral health problems. So what exactly are these problems and how serious is this issue? In addition to the addictive properties of e-cigarettes, they have serious effects on teeth and overall oral health.

Our dentists and the team at Advanced Cosmetic & Family Dentistry want to make sure you have the best information available to best guide and care for you and your family’s oral health. With the right information, you can make an informed decision that benefits everyone.

Read on to learn more!

E-cigarettes contain harmful components and chemicals

Formaldehyde: 

E-cigarettes produce a chemical called formaldehyde through their high voltage, lithium batteries. This causes a large risk for mouth and face injuries due to explosions.

Nicotine: 

Not only is nicotine addictive, which causes its own issues, but it restricts blood flow in the mouth. This causes issues, especially in the gums, as it decreases the mouth’s ability to fight common infections. Connective tissue is therefore unable to easily replenish itself, and this leads to major gum issues and rotting teeth. In addition, it can cause gum disease, leading to major issues elsewhere in the body.

Aerosol: 

The aerosol or vapor that comes out of any vaping device is at it hottest when it is released. When this hot vapor makes contact with the oral cavity, issues can occur. Since this vapor contains diethylene glycol, effects can range from dry cough to chemical burns. It can also lead to decay in the mouth.

Flavoring Capsules:

The flavorings used in e-cigarettes are likely to cause inflammation in the white blood cells. Because these blood cells are made to protect the body from diseases, losing function in these cells can cause major issues not only in the mouth, but in the whole body.

The flavoring juices contain Propylene Glycol, which is extremely harmful to tooth enamel and majorly irritates the soft tissue in the mouth. This creates things like dry mouth, saliva loss, cavities, and gum disease.

The juices also contain vegetable glycerin, which softens the teeth to an unhealthy level and allows bacteria to stick to them more easily. This can lead to major decay and infections.

Solvents and additives:

When these components are heated, they release chemicals that cause respiratory and blood vessel damage and overall decrease the state of oral health.

While teens have grown to view vaping as a safer alternative to smoking, this view is wildly untrue. The harmful chemicals and addictive properties cause major issues in both the mouth and body.

Growing awareness of these effects is extremely important in order to minimize these harmful effects and a generation that is naive to the harm they are actively creating in their mouths and bodies.

The Impact of Smoking on Oral Health

Smoking poses a significant threat to oral health, with detrimental effects ranging from bad breath and discoloration to heightened risks of gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. Moreover, smoking hampers the healing process for oral infections, compromises the success of dental implant procedures, and increases the likelihood of oral cancer.

Chemicals in tobacco smoke also compromise the bone connected to gum tissue, escalating the risk of gum disease and periodontal issues. The constant exposure to smoke leads to teeth discoloration, giving them a darker and dingier appearance.

Additionally, smoking affects not only teeth and gums but also the tongue, throat, and esophagus, with both immediate and long-term consequences. Despite ample evidence, there are no discernible benefits of smoking for oral health.

The Impact of Vaping on Oral Health

Vaping introduces a myriad of concerns regarding its impact on oral health. Although extensive research is ongoing, preliminary findings indicate potential risks associated with vaping. Unlike traditional cigarettes, vaping involves heating a liquid to produce an aerosol, which is then inhaled.

Despite claims suggesting vaping is safer, it still poses risks due to the presence of harmful chemicals in the liquid, alongside nicotine. Similar to smoking, vaping can disrupt the mouth’s environment, increasing susceptibility to cavities and tooth decay.

Moreover, it can lead to dry mouth, inhibiting the mouth’s natural cleansing process and elevating cavity risks. The consequences of vaping on lung health remain unpredictable and damaging, with reports of serious health complications emerging.

Given these risks, it is crucial to seek assistance in managing smoking or vaping habits.

Seeking Vaping Assistance from Advanced Cosmetic & Family Dentistry in Alpharetta

If smoking or vaping has impacted your oral health, seeking professional help is imperative. Begin by consulting your primary care physician to devise a cessation strategy, followed by a visit to Advanced Cosmetic & Family Dentistry in Alpharetta.

Our dentists and team offer comprehensive support and tailored treatment plans to address the effects of smoking or vaping on oral health. From discussing cessation strategies to exploring available procedures for restoring oral health, our team is dedicated to helping you achieve a healthier lifestyle.

Also, talk to your teens. Talk to your friends. Spread the word. Vaping is not a healthy solution. It causes lasting issues and weakened systems.

At Advanced Cosmetic & Family Dentistry in Alpharetta, GA, we want you to feel safe in talking about any concerns that you may have about vaping and how it can negatively impact the health of your teen. Don’t hesitate to give us a call so we can walk with you through any questions you may have!

Resources:

https://dentaquest.com/oral-health-resources/oral-health-library/general-oral-health/vaping/

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/vaping-can-hurt-your-lungs-even-without-nicotine#E-cigarettes-contain-harmful-chemicals

https://www.americastoothfairy.org/news/4-ways-vaping-can-ruin-your-teens-smile#:~:text=Nicotine%20can%20lead%20to%20gum%20disease%20and%20tooth%20loss.&text=Not%20only%20does%20nicotine%20restrict,gum%20disease%20and%20tooth%20loss.