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Vaping is an increasingly relevant and heavily debated topic around the world. Although most of the health focus related to vaping has been connected to links between vaping and damage to the heart and lungs, there is current evidence that it also affects your oral health. While many of the long-term health effects of vaping are still relatively unknown, it’s important for you and your family to understand the potential negative side effects it can have on the oral cavity.

Worldwide, the use of E-cigarettes has increased over the last decade, largely due to the misconception that it’s a harmless habit. Australia may have banned the importation of disposable vapes on 1 January 2024, but according to new research, more than 3.5 million people aged 14 and above in Australia smoke or vape, with rates increasing among younger people. In Singapore, vaping is strictly prohibited and considered illegal. The use of electronic cigarettes and similar devices is also not allowed under Singaporean law.

What is vaping?

Vaping is a term given to the act of inhaling vapour from E-cigarettes which may contain nicotine or other chemicals. E-cigarette or vape liquid is heated, vapourised and inhaled. The liquid is generally in the form of a thick base substance which is commonly glycerol or propylene glycol. The vaping liquid is often flavoured with sweet or fruity flavours or dessert flavours, and has an abundance of potentially harmful chemicals. The flavours are often marketed to young adults, and can have a very addictive nature. Due to the absence of the nicotine smell, the habit is gaining popularity amongst youth. 

“In Australia, more than 3.5 million people aged 14 + smoke or vape”

Risk of gum disease

Nicotine in any form causes constriction of blood vessels. A reduced blood supply to the gum tissue results in a decreased supply of oxygen and nutrients. Nicotine also affects the mouth’s ability to fight infection and replenish connective tissues. These factors can increase your risk of gum disease or periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can lead to inflammation, gum recession and associated sensitivity, loss of periodontal support and ultimately loss of teeth. 

The chemicals in E-cigarettes can also stain your teeth a yellowish or brown colour. While this is primarily a cosmetic concern, poor looking teeth can affect your confidence and self-esteem. And although it appears that vaping may have a reduced link to oral cancer when compared to traditional cigarettes, the risk is still significantly higher when compared to the non-vapers/smokers. 

If you’re concerned about vaping and the impact it may be having on you or your family’s oral health, our team of experienced dentists at Smilefocus can assist in educating and guiding you. Once again, we highlight that vaping is strictly prohibited and considered illegal in Singapore. 

Vaping & your teeth

When the oral cavity is exposed to the flavoured aerosols produced during vaping, a two-fold increase of biofilm or plaque formation can occur. The thick vapourised vaping liquid can often adhere to tooth surfaces and get into all the grooves and fissures of a tooth.  Vaping aerosol also enhances microbial adhesion to enamel.  Some compounds can become acidic when vapourised which can harm tooth enamel. All these characteristics increase the risk of forming dental caries or decay.

Vaping may also influence the amount of saliva we produce. Saliva is the oral cavity’s natural cleansing and balancing mechanism. Vaping can cause a decreased production in saliva, and therefore an increased risk of decay as well as bad breath and mouth sores.

To learn more about children’s dental issues or to book an appointment with one of our friendly dentists, contact us at 6733 9882 or www.smilefocus.com.sg