Whether you vape e-cigarettes or smoke traditional ones, dentists warn that the vapor or smoke may affect your oral health. The nicotine and smoke will pass through the mouth before entering the lungs, which brings consequences for your teeth and gums. If you’re trying to quit, learning these effects may help motivate you. To help you maintain a healthy smile, here are some of the dental-related risks of vaping or smoking.
Effects of Vaping & Smoking on Dental Health
1. Damages the Gums
The gums need a consistent, robust supply of blood to get the oxygen and nourishment they require. Nicotine restricts blood flow, and when this access is compromised, the gums deteriorate. This can lead to gum recession, tooth loss, and increased pockets of gum tissue around the teeth, which invite bacteria that can lead to infections.
2. Promotes Teeth Grinding
Many people say they vape or smoke because it relaxes them, but in reality, it's doing the exact opposite to their body. Nicotine is a stimulant that over-activates the nerves in your muscles. If you are prone to teeth grinding, this can worsen the habit. Teeth grinding, or bruxism, wears down the teeth, leading to enamel damage, pain, loosened or lost teeth, and even repositioning of the lower jaw.
3. Hinders Saliva Production
Saliva acts as a natural rinse for the interior of the mouth, washing away the tiny food particles and bacteria that cling to the teeth and gums. When saliva production is hindered, which is a common result of nicotine use, harmful substances are more likely to stay on the teeth and cause decay. Not only does this mean more trips to the dentist for fillings, but it may increase your risk of gum disease, loose teeth, and bad breath.
The dentists at Smile Central Dental in Passaic County, NJ, are here for you. In a safe and compassionate environment, they provide a wide range of oral care services, including exams, teeth cleanings, crowns, and fillings. They also offer orthodontic services for patients of all ages. Learn more their practice on their website or call (973) 742-4200 to schedule an appointment with their dentist.