Dr. Kathleen Mullaney • DDS • FAGD

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How Does Vaping Affect Your Oral Health?

How Does Vaping Affect Your Oral Health?

Like any inhalants, cigarettes, or other smokables, vapes prove to be a health risk with a wide target audience. If you vape or are concerned about someone who does, read more about the negative effects of vaping and what you can do to break the habit here.

3 Ways Vaping Effects Oral Health


  1. Nicotine Leads to Gum Disease
  2. The effects of nicotine are well known and have the same effects on the gums, no matter if it’s from cigarettes or vapes. Nicotine restricts blood flow to the gums and consequently negatively affects the mouth’s ability to fight infections and repair itself. This leads to an increased risk of gum disease, even with daily maintenance.

  3. Vape Juice is Toxic to Enamel and Soft Tissue
  4. One of the key ingredients in “vape juice” is propylene glycol. When used orally, it breaks down into acids that damage enamel and irritate soft tissues. Propylene glycol also causes dry mouth by reducing saliva production. Less saliva leads to more cavities and, again, a higher chance of gum disease.

  5. Flavorings Help Bacteria Stick to Teeth
  6. Vapes come in flavors that mimic tobacco products and menthol, but what gets people hooked are all the sickly sweet flavors like fruits and candy. These flavors contain vegetable glycerin, a slightly sticky sweetener, that helps bacteria stick to the grooves and pores on the enamel. Flavorings are the reason people enjoy vaping, leading to more inhalations.


Overall Health Risks of Vaping

Vaping comes at a cost. Health risks of vaping include:

  • Addiction – E-cigarettes and vapes contain nicotine, a highly addictive drug.
  • Mental Health Issues – Nicotine is known to make anxiety and depression worse, along with a decreased performance in memory, concentration, and self-control.
  • Sleep Problems – It can cause an increase in insomnia symptoms, such as daytime sleepiness, and reduce sleep effectiveness.
  • Lung Damage – Smoking puts chemicals directly into your lungs that can cause life-threatening damage.

Beyond these, there are still consequences of vaping that we aren’t even aware of yet.

How to Help Someone Quit Vaping

For the ones who want to quit, here are some options to help them along the way.

Write Down the Reasons

It’s essential to keep a solid direction when breaking an addiction. A written, easily accessible list of reasons can help them quit. Putting the list on their phone or the bathroom mirror can be a helpful reminder.

Pick a Day

“I’m going to quit” should be met with a tangible date. Leaving the moment to quit ambiguous is a surefire way to backslide. When they pick a date, make a big deal about it (in a good way). Make sure that friends and family are aware and available for support.

Replace the Mechanics

Just like how cigarette smokers still want to have the cigarette between their lips, vapers want the muscle memory of it all. Replace their vapes with gum (sugar-free, of course) or lollipops to have them replace the mechanics of vaping.

Trash It

Nothing stops progress like having all the tools and ability to fall backward into addiction. Have them decide to trash all the supplies that go with their vapes. After they throw them away, immediately get rid of the garbage to remove any temptations.

Be Supportive

Do your best to understand that withdrawal symptoms are real and have real effects on the mind. They may have powerful cravings for nicotine following quitting. Symptoms like irritability, headaches, and restlessness are all expected. These problems will lessen over days and weeks.

Have Questions? Contact Our Alexandria Dentist Today!

If you have any questions or concerns about vaping and the effects it has on your dental health, contact Dr. Kathleen Mullaney, DDS, or call 240-532-3335 to get informed!
Author Bio: Dr. Kathleen Mullaney offers general and cosmetic dentistry services in Alexandria, VA. She earned her doctorate in dental surgery from the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) and proudly served as a United States Navy dentist before opening her practice. With over 25 years of experience, Dr. Mullaney is delighted to be one of Old Town’s most respected and sought-after dentists! Call 240-532-3335 to schedule an appointment.

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