If you vape, you may be wondering what oral health risks you are facing. You may be worried about visiting the dentist and wonder, “Can a dentist tell if you vape?” That is a simple question, but there are lots of factors that contribute to the answer. You have to consider how long and frequently you vape, along with if you smoke in addition to vaping. If you maintain good oral hygiene, it may be harder for a dentist to tell.
Overall, dentists are highly trained to know how to identify oral hygiene problems and habits. The one thing that can usually make dentists know that patients vape is because of the nicotine involved in vaping and smoking. Nicotine has serious effects on the mouth that are easy for dentists to see.
Signs That Give Your Vaping Habit Away to Your Dentist
Here are some of the most common signs for dentists that someone vapes:
- Dry mouth
- Bad breath
- Yellow or brown nicotine stains on your teeth and tongue
- Oral thrush
- Tobacco stomatitis, or smoker’s palate, which are sores on the roof of your mouth
- Canker sores
- Breathing difficulties or smoker’s cough
- Black hairy tongue, which is unpleasant but harmless
Are Vaping and Smoking Bad for Your Teeth?
Simply put, vaping and smoking are bad for your teeth. They affect the condition of your teeth, mouth, lips, tongue, throat, and much more.
Not only do vaping and smoking affect the teeth, it can lead to developing certain types of cancer, especially oral cancer. 90% of people diagnosed with oral cancers are smokers and vapers. People may think that vaping is better for you than smoking, but there hasn’t been enough research done to prove that inference, so it is probably best to try to avoid both.
What Does Vaping Do to Your Mouth?
Out of those signs that give you away to your dentist, yellow or brown stains, dry mouth, and mouth burns/canker sores are some of the most common. Here is a deeper look into each:
Because most e-liquids used in vaping contain ingredients that absorb moisture, they can lead to dry mouth. When you inhale the vaporized e-liquid, it absorbs moisture from the oral cavity that leads to a sensation of dryness.
Nicotine also is a contributor to dry mouth. Nicotine can make your mouth produce less saliva because it reduces blood flow to the salivary glands. This reduced blood flow may hinder the normal function of the glands, leading to decreased saliva production and dry mouth.
Dry mouth can be very uncomfortable and it has a negative effect on your overall oral health and hygiene. Saliva production is important because saliva helps wash away food particles, protect against tooth decay and gum disease, and neutralize acids. Dry mouth can also affect the taste of food, cause bad breath, and cause more cavities.
Yellow and Brown Stains
The primary contributor to the yellowing and browning in color of the teeth for vapers and smokers is the nicotine found in tobacco products.
When tobacco products are burned and chewed or inhaled, they produce a sticky, thick substance called tar. Nicotine combines with the tar and other chemicals in tobacco to create residues that can accumulate on the teeth and create a layer that is difficult to remove.
Nicotine can bind to the porous enamel surface and cause staining because it has a natural affinity for tooth enamel. The staining usually ranges from yellowish to brownish in color, depending on the frequency and duration of the tobacco use.
Vaping devices can cause minor and serious mouth burns and oral injuries because they contain hot vapor. When users draw in this vapor, it can come into contact with sensitive tissues of the mouth. The exposure to high temperatures can cause burns in the mouth similar to the way hot food or beverages can burn the mouth.
Advanced vaping devices with adjustable power settings may contain high wattages that produce extremely hot vapor that increases the risk of mouth burns if users are not careful. Along with this, some devices might malfunction and overheat.
Reduce Impacts of Vaping on Oral Health
Now that you have learned about the serious effects of vaping on the condition of your teeth and mouth, you can learn how to better maintain your oral health. There are some simple actions to take to reduce the impacts of vaping.
1. Brush Your Teeth
The first step you can take to keep your mouth healthy is to brush your teeth regularly. This means a full two minutes, twice a day. Most dentists may prescribe a fluoride-containing toothpaste to produce a deeper clean. Brushing your teeth will help you remove plaque caused by vaping.
2. Floss Every Day
The next major action to take to reduce the impact of vaping is to floss your teeth daily. This will help your teeth and gums stay healthy, and it is an effective way to reach plaque and tartar that brushing can’t reach. Because flossing can get in between teeth and down on the gums, it helps reduce the risk of cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease.
3. Visit Your Dentist Often
Although it may be intimidating to let your dentist know about your vaping habits, your dentist can help you have a clean and healthy mouth better than anything else. Your dentist will be able to give you specific instructions and possible treatments that are catered to your individual needs. Dentists also have tools and resources to clean your teeth effectively beyond your own brushing and flossing.
Schedule a Visit With Us
If you are looking for a reliable and comfortable dental experience, consider scheduling an appointment with Northview Dental in Ogden, UT. We offer many different services to ensure the best possible treatment plan for our patients, and we guarantee you will have a positive experience with our friendly staff.