Can E-cigarettes Cause Mouth Damage?

Yes!

Someone holding up a long black and gray looking tube to their mouth, and their mouth is exhaling white vapor
E-cigarettes increase dental risks even when used without nicotine

E-cigarettes have been touted as a great way to stop smoking.  Many people believe that they are a “healthy” alternative to smoking cigarettes.  While they may be slightly better for you than traditional cigarettes, they are not without risk!

E-Cigs and Oral Health

Vaping poses increased risks for cavities, gum disease and oral cancer.  The scary thing is that e-cigs increase these risks even when used without nicotine!  The association of traditional tobacco use with dental diseases is well known.  This article will focus on the other ingredients in vaping that are harmful to the tissues in your mouth.

Different colored glass vials on a white table with pink flowers and green leaves placed around the vials
Studies show that e-cigarette flavorings have several negative effects on the mouth.

Flavoring Additives

One of the attractions of using e-cigarettes for many people is the ability to add various flavors to the e-cig vapor.  Studies show that these flavorings have several negative effects on the mouth.

  1. They impair the function of blood vessels. This means they worsen gum disease and delay healing.
  2. They cause inflammation. This means they increase your risk for gingivitis and the progression of gum disease.
  3. They soften and weaken tooth enamel. This means that they make it easier for you to get cavities.

Propylene Glycol

Propylene glycol is the carrier liquid for e-cigs.  It has two major negative effects on the mouth.

  1. PG breaks down into several acids. An acidic pH puts your teeth at a higher risk for cavities.
  2. PG causes dry mouth by pulling water out of the tissues inside your mouth. A dry mouth has a higher risk for cavities, gum disease, and mouth sores.

Vegetable Glycerin

Vegetable glycerin in vaping liquids creates a thicker plume of smoke and has a slightly sweet taste.  It is a more viscous (thicker) liquid, and it changes the consistency of plaque buildup on the teeth.  The plaque affected by vegetable glycerin is stickier and harder to remove from the teeth.  It adheres to deep grooves in the teeth and to small crevices between the teeth and gums.  This difficult-to-remove plaque definitely increases the prevalence of cavities and gum disease by keeping bad bacteria on the surface of your teeth for longer periods of time.

Batteries

It should go without saying that anything at risk of exploding in your mouth can damage your mouth. Recently, a teen boy’s vape pen exploded, shattering his lower jaw.

The verdict is in: E-cigs are not safe for your mouth. 

More Questions about E-cigs and Vaping?

Call our office today to schedule a consultation with one of our dentists.  We will assess your current risk for dental disease and even discuss tobacco cessation options with you.