E-Cigs, Vaping, and Oral Health

by | Oct 5, 2022 | Blog Posts

E-Cigs, Vaping, and Oral Health

Over the last several years, the use of e-cigarettes has rapidly risen in popularity. What initially started as a stopgap measure for cigarette smokers has become an epidemic. It’s important to understand the effects of vaping and oral health. Unfortunately, it’s more serious than most people would imagine.

Vaping, Nicotine, and Oral Health

Even vaping without nicotine can be harmful. In a comprehensive study conducted by The National Academies Press, dentists and hygienists found that e-cigarette use may negatively affect gums and gingival health. [1] In fact, this study moved smokers of traditional tobacco products over to e-cigarette vaping for two weeks to measure the change in gingival soft tissue. They all showed significantly increased inflammation in the gums after those two weeks on e-cigarettes, and their gums easily bled when probed.[1]

It’s also well understood that oral health is a critical indicator of one’s overall health. The American Stroke Association confirms the link between gum disease and a higher rate of strokes caused by hardened brain arteries and other severe blockages.[2]

Unfortunately, electronic cigarettes haven’t been around long enough to fully understand the long-term health implications. While other health effects of e-cigarettes may be reduced when compared to traditional cigarettes, understanding the risks of vaping and oral health is extremely important. Let’s review some of the known negative effects of vaping and e-cigs on oral health.

Negative Effects of Vaping and Oral Health

While it may cure the chronic bad breath that comes with traditional cigarettes, there are other oral health implications to consider.

Increased Bacteria Production

E-cigarette flavor juices are made from a blend of glycol, glycerin, nicotine, and sweetened flavors. These flavors expose the surface of the teeth to additional acids and substances. In a recent study, the results of e-cigarettes on teeth showed quadruple the number of early plaque indicators and double actual plaque production.[3]

Greater Risk of Gum Disease

A study in 2019 revealed that 43% of people using e-cigarettes had gum disease and other oral infections. This was compared to the 72.5% of smokers and 28.2% of nonsmokers with gum disease. [4] The presence of gum disease nearly doubled due to vaping practices.

Chronic Dry Mouth

Propylene glycol can cause additional dryness in the mouth. This symptom is medically associated with bad breath, tooth decay, and even painful mouth sores.

Vaping Kills Cells

We’ve already learned that vaping aerosols increases gum inflammation. This can lead to cell damage and accelerate cell aging or kill them altogether. This harmful result of vaping and oral health can lead to more serious oral diseases and issues such as periodontal disease, loss of teeth, and even bone loss.

Nicotine Increases Plaque Production

This is true for traditional cigarettes as well as electronic ones. Increased plaque can lead to tartar buildup and eventually periodontitis. Periodontitis, a more advanced form of gum disease, will require a more specialized treatment to control.

Receding Gum Line

As gums become inflamed, they recede from their supportive role for your teeth. Eventually, this causes loose teeth and potentially complete tooth loss.

Preventing The Effects of Vaping and Oral Health Best Practices

Quit Smoking

Talk to your doctor and your dentist about the long-term and short-term effects of smoking and vaping on your overall health. Health professionals conclude that the risk is too great to sustain smoking or vaping practices. Consider nicotine and smoking cessation tools and prescriptions with your primary care doctor and select the one that’s best for you.

Practice Good Dental Hygiene

Brushing and flossing should take place consistently twice per day. Maintain strong dental hygiene practices to help reduce the adverse effects of vaping and oral health.

Maintain Regular Dental Care Visits

Sticking to a regular dental cleaning and treatment schedule is one of the strongest prevention practices available. Your dentist will be able to catch new signs of gum disease and tooth decay before they get worse. They can also monitor bone health and the presence of tooth enamel erosion.

Call Empire Dental Care To Discuss Vaping and Oral Health

Whether you’re looking for regular dental care or assistance with managing vaping and oral health effects, we’re here to help! Call today to schedule an appointment at 585-671-1650.



[1] https://nap.nationalacademies.org/read/24952/chapter/2#11

[2] https://newsroom.heart.org/news/gum-disease-inflammation-hardened-arteries-may-be-linked-to-stroke-risk

[3] https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0203717

[4] https://www.cell.com/iscience/fulltext/S2589-0042(20)30068-7



Dr. Cohen has been practicing dentistry in private and public settings for over 10 years, completing her DMD degree in 2010 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Committed to providing dental care of the highest level, Dr. Cohen relocated to Rochester in 2016 to pursue advanced dental trainings at the Dental Urgent Care Fellowship at The University of Rochester, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, graduating in 2017, and the AEGD Residency program in 2019. She recently completed an additional advanced General Practice Residency program at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany NY. This summer she moved back to Rochester with her husband Kevin, a native Rochesterian, to be closer to family. Throughout her career and personal life, Dr. Cohen has shown her genuine compassion and care to people and patients from all walks of life. She volunteered in underserved areas, practiced in clinics for patients with complex special needs, and treated medically compromised patients among others. She also taught and mentored other dentists and students helping them achieve their professional and personal goals. Most of all, Dr. Cohen’s warm personality and love of people create a welcoming, comfortable feeling for both patients and staff.