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Vaping can have a negative effect on your teeth and overall oral health. With that said, vaping does appear to pose fewer oral health risks than smoking cigarettes.

Vaping and e-cigarette devices have become increasingly popular in the past decade, but research hasn’t quite caught up.

Although studies are ongoing, there’s still a lot we don’t know about its long-term effects.

Read on to find out what we do know about potential side effects, e-juice ingredients to avoid, and more.

Current research suggests vaping can have a variety of negative effects on your teeth and gums. Some of these effects include:

Excess bacteria

One 2018 study found that teeth that had been exposed to e-cigarette aerosol had more bacteria than those that hadn’t.

This difference was greater in the pits and crevices of teeth.

Excess bacteria are associated with tooth decay, cavities, and gum diseases.

Dry mouth

Some e-cigarette base liquids, particularly propylene glycol, can cause mouth dryness.

Chronic mouth dryness is associated with bad breath, mouth sores, and tooth decay.

Inflamed gums

One 2016 study suggests e-cig use triggers an inflammatory response in gum tissues.

Ongoing gum inflammation is associated with various periodontal diseases.

Overall irritation

2014 review reported that vaping can cause mouth and throat irritation. Gum symptoms may include tenderness, swelling, and redness.

Cell death

According to a 2018 review, studies of live cells from human gums suggest vaping aerosols can increase inflammation and DNA damage. This can lead cells to lose their power to divide and grow, which can speed up cell aging and result in cell death.

This may play a role in oral health issues such as:

  • periodontal diseases
  • bone loss
  • tooth loss
  • dry mouth
  • bad breath
  • tooth decay

Of course, results from in vitro studies aren’t necessarily generalizable to real-life scenarios, as these cells have been removed from their natural environment.

More long-term research is needed to truly understand how vaping-related cell death can affect your overall oral health.

2018 review from the National Academy of Sciences concluded that research suggests vaping poses fewer oral health risks than smoking cigarettes.

However, this conclusion was based on the limited research available. Research is ongoing, and this stance may change over time.

Supporting research

One 2016 study involved oral examinations on people who switched from smoking cigarettes to vaping.

Researchers found the switch to vaping was associated with overall improvement in several indicators of oral health, including plaque levels and gum bleeding.

One 2017 study compared three groups of men in Saudi Arabia: a group who smoked cigarettes, a group who vaped, and a group who abstained from both.

Researchers found those who smoked cigarettes were more likely to have higher plaque levels and self-reported gum pain than those who vaped or abstained entirely.

However, it’s worth noting the participants who smoked cigarettes began smoking long before the participants who vaped began vaping.

This means the people who smoked cigarettes were exposed to higher nicotine levels for an extended period of time. This may have skewed the results.

One 2018 prospective study reported similar results with respect to gum inflammation among people who smoke, people who vape, and people who abstain from both.

Researchers found that people who smoked experienced higher levels of inflammation after an ultrasonic cleaning than people who vaped or abstained entirely.

Contradictory research

In contrast, a 2016 pilot study found that gum inflammation actually increased among smokers with mild forms of periodontal disease when they switched to vaping for a two-week period.

These results should be interpreted with caution. The sample size was small, and there was no control group for comparison.

THE BOTTOM LINE

More research needs to be done to understand both the short- and long-term effects of vaping on oral health.

This article was originally published on Healthline.com's website.  By sharing this article, no copyright violations or infringement was intended.  Original article can be found here:

https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/dental-and-oral-health-is-vaping-bad-for-your-teeth?fbclid=IwAR19Cl809LS8a-8Skgwf5t4zxqlzJYxN0B265-tJ_Qrfs_Gn5JqECOUl1pQ#How-does-vaping-compare-to-smoking-cigarettes? 

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