We’ll be honest, smoking isn’t the best habit. Even most smokers will agree. It’s hard to quit, which is why people came up with vaping as a substitute.
Whether or not vaping is just as bad as smoking for your health is a big debate. But, from an oral hygiene standpoint, is it as bad as smoking for your teeth? Does smoking even harm your teeth, or is it just a myth that people use to prevent you from smoking?
Here, we’ll talk about the impact vaping and smoking have on your teeth, so that you can have a beautiful smile and confidence in how your teeth look.
Smoking and Your Teeth
We’ll start by saying, unequivocally, that smoking is bad for your teeth.
That’s no surprise, since smoking is bad for your health, too. Your teeth aren’t immune to damage caused by smoking. We’ve all seen what smoking can do cosmetically: it can stain your teeth and make them yellowish instead of white.
Smoking also causes bad breath. Smoker’s breath is a real thing. If you’ve been close enough to a smoker, you’ve probably smelled their breath even if they brush regularly. We bet it wasn’t a pleasant experience.
More importantly, smoking influences the health of your teeth due to xerostomia caused by smoking in two ways. First, smoking causes plaque build up on your teeth. Plaque not only makes your teeth look worse; it carries bacteria that can result in tooth decay and gum disease, which can be very serious. This build up can steadily strip away enamel, which can cause sensitive teeth at best and tooth rot at worst.
Second, smoking – or more accurately, nicotine – decreases blood blow, which reduces the ability of your mouth to fight off harmful bacteria that can result in gum disease and other problems.
Finally, we’ll get to the big side effect of smoking: oral cancer. A lot of people think that only chewing tobacco results in oral cancer, but smoking does, too. There are over 70 chemicals in tobacco smoke that can cause cancer in your mouth. Any time you put tobacco smoke in your mouth, you’re increasing your risk of serious disease.
Is Vaping Bad, Too?
Vaping is supposed to be better for your health than smoking. While vaping doesn’t result in plaque build up or tooth discoloration, it still gives you nicotine, which hurts your mouth’s ability to keep itself clean from harmful bacteria, just like smoking.
Vapors from e-cigarettes can also cause inflammation in your gums, which often leads to gum disease and instability in your teeth – including tooth loss. Additionally, a lot of people use flavored vaping liquid, which can cause damage to the cells in your mouth.
(Besides, research shows that vaping can lead to the same damage to your respiratory system as smoking.)
In conclusion, both smoking and vaping are bad for your teeth. They’re bad for you in general, but if you want shiny, porcelain-white teeth that are healthy and free from inflammation and decay, you shouldn’t smoke or vape.
If you need help quitting smoking, check out the CDC’s Quit Smoking resources page.
And keep your mouth healthy: make sure to brush, floss, and visit the dentist regularly.