Detrimental Effects of Smoking on Oral Health

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Make the Switch to Vaping Today

Concerned about your oral health? Struggling with teeth discoloration, gum disease, bad breath, post-oral-surgery complications? Did you ever stop to consider that smoking might be responsible for all of those things? When we say might be, we’re probably making an understatement. Some studies have shown that smokers are 3.6 times more likely to lose their natural teeth than non-smokers.


If you’re not concerned with overall health issues and monetary costs associated with smoking (although you definitely should be), maybe the risk to your pearly whites will make you reconsider.


There’s no better time to ditch the smoking habit than the second week of August, which is the National Smile Week in the United States of America. It was first organized in 2009, in collaboration with the British Dental Health Organization, an organization that has been running a similar program in the UK since 1977. Use this time to reflect on your dental health and to make a firm decision never to smoke again or, at least, switch to vaping. Vape juices (especially those that are nicotine-free) have been shown to do far less damage to the oral cavity than analog cigarettes.


Smoking and Oral Health


In addition to tooth loss, there’s a number of other oral cavity issues that affect smokers to a much greater degree than non-smokers:

Bad Breath

  • Bad breath (halitosis) - cigarettes contain extremely smelly compounds that can linger in your mouth and lungs for hours. In addition, a smoker’s mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria, which flourish in these conditions and contribute to your bad breath problem. On the other hand, most vape juices only contain a handful of ingredients and flavorings, none of which have been connected to problems with bad breath.

Tooth Discoloration From Smoking

Gum Disease

    • Gum disease - smokers suffer from gum disease almost two times more than non-smokers, which is also why they lose more teeth. It’s important to note that gum disease treatments might not work for smokers, which is why you should quit smoking when your dentist recommends it. While smoking causes gum disease (actually, allows it to flourish) it also masks it and makes early detection nearly impossible. The first sign of gum disease is gum bleeding - since nicotine is a vasoconstrictor (meaning that it narrows the blood vessels), bleeding might not occur, which can interfere with diagnosis.
    • Increased bone loss in the jaw - over time, smoking will start causing bone loss in your upper and lower jaws, which can, again, cause paradentosis and tooth loss. Dental interventions (such as bone augmentation) are not possible while the patient is smoking because smoke seriously hinders the healing process.
    • Increased risk of oral cancer - oral cancer kills over 10,000 people per year in the United States alone and, guess what, most of those people are smokers. In fact, you’re 15 times more likely to get any type of oral cancer if you smoke.

        As you can see, smoking can truly wipe the smile off your face. However, there is a silver lining in all of this. If you quit smoking right now, bad breath, tooth discoloration, and the risk of gum disease will diminish significantly in the next couple of months. In addition to that, tooth loss risk will go down to the levels that are consistent with people who’ve never smoked within a decade.


        Vaping and Oral Health


        Now that we’ve covered how smoking destroys your teeth, let’s take a look at oral risks associated with vaping. Of course, we’re not here to claim that there are no risks - that would be irresponsible. But, it is fair to mention that those risks are significantly lower.


        First thing’s first: most vape juices don’t contain any carcinogenic compounds (at least those that you buy from reputable sellers, such as BuyVapor). That seriously lowers your risk of getting any type of oral cancer. In addition, vape juices do not contain tar so the potential for teeth discoloration is also minimal.


        In fact, if you’re vaping on nicotine-free vape juices, chances are you won’t encounter any of the oral and teeth problems associated with smoking. Simply because vape juices don’t contain thousands of chemicals which can hurt you, the risk of gum disease, bad breath, and tooth loss all go way down.


        If however, your vape juices do contain nicotine, there are some risks involved, even with vaping. That’s because, as we’ve mentioned, nicotine acts as a vasoconstrictor, limiting blood flow in the gums and making it harder to discover and treat gum disease. Overall, studies have found that, although vaping and vape juices can have some effect on oral health, those effects are not as nearly as bad as those associated with smoking.


        Is Vaping Better For Oral Health Than Smoking?


        In a nutshell, yes - we would argue that it is.


        With all the information that is available to us right now, it’s safe to assume that overall oral health of a smoker would significantly improve if smoking was substituted for vaping. Even if your vape juice contains nicotine, there are still a lot less toxic compounds in vapor than in smoke. Take nicotine completely out of the equation, and you would see that most of your smoking-related oral issues would completely vanish.


        So make use of National Smile Week and make sure that your lovely smile is always there to brighten up everyone’s day!

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