Smoking and vaping affect your mouth in similar ways, even though some of the consequences are far worse than others.
But four things are clear:
- More research is needed regarding the effects of vaping.
- Vaping does appear to have negative effects on your mouth.
- Cigarettes are still worse.
- You’re better off avoiding both.
How Smoking and Vaping Affect Your Mouth
It’s well-known that smoking cigarettes can lead to some forms of cancer and respiratory disease, but smokers should also be aware of how smoking can damage your teeth, lips, tongue, and gums.
Cigarettes can stain your teeth, tongue, and lips, and they can weaken your sense of taste. Smoking cigarettes can lead to irritated or receding gums, which often results in tooth loss. It might also complicate procedures like tooth extractions and make it difficult to make cosmetic improvements to your teeth.
One obvious effect of smoking is bad breath. Cigarette smoke itself has a repulsive odor, but smoking also dries your mouth and reduces the production of saliva. This exacerbates the bad breath problem and also leads to tooth decay, as a healthy saliva flow helps to protect your teeth by neutralizing the acids in your mouth.
Lesser discussed effects of smoking cigarettes are the possible loss of bone within the jaw and a greater risk for various types of mouth sores.
Finally, oral cancer is one of the main concerns regarding your oral health if you smoke cigarettes.
Although the research is not clear, vaping in its many forms – including e-cigs, vape pens, and hookahs – can lead to various complications as well. Although you can use vape liquids that contain no nicotine at all, vaping can dull your taste buds just like smoking cigarettes can. It also has been found to break down healthy cells in your mouth, possibly leading to longer recovery time after oral surgery. Additionally, vaping has been associated with tooth decay and receding gums as well. Vape liquids come in various nicotine levels, so if you do choose liquids that contain the addictive drug, you may be leaving yourself open to other issues, rendering vaping almost as dangerous as smoking cigarettes.
The main difference is in secondhand smoke. Vaping is not known to be as dangerous for other people as smoking, but more research is needed in this area as well.
Let Us Help You
The bottom line is this: Smoking and vaping affect your mouth in such negative ways that they’re among the worst things you can do for your oral health. Quitting smoking may improve your oral health within days and your overall health in a matter of weeks.
Regularly visiting your dentist is the best way to identify oral health problems like oral cancer or gum disease due to smoking. If you’re a current or former smoker, set up an appointment today, and we’ll examine your mouth to identify any issues that you may have.