Is Vaping Harmful to Your Oral Health?

March 25, 2024

Vaping has exploded in popularity over the past decade as a “less harmful” alternative to smoking. Of course, most in the medical community – including dentists – agree that, while vaping may have some advantages over using traditional tobacco products, it is still very harmful to your health. In addition, vapes are generally marketed to teens who enjoy various flavor offerings and colorful cases. If you or your teen have taken up vaping, American Dental has some important information for you about the negative effects of vaping on your oral health.

Vape Juice Contains Nicotine

While vaping eliminates some of the harmful byproducts, like tar, that are present in tobacco smoke, vapes still contain nicotine. In some cases, the amount of nicotine provided by vapes is even higher than that provided by cigarettes and other tobacco products. Nicotine is a stimulant that constricts your blood vessels, reducing blood supply to your gums. When your gums aren’t healthy, they can start to recede, exposing the tooth roots and leading to gum disease. Nicotine also hinders your body’s ability to fight infection and control the naturally occurring bacteria that live in your mouth. Using nicotine can make you more susceptible to tooth decay.

Propylene Glycol is Harmful to Oral Health

The active ingredients and flavors found in vape juice are suspended in propylene glycol. When vaporized, propylene glycol breaks down into acids and other substances that can damage tooth enamel and soft tissues, which can lead to gum recession and tooth decay. Propylene glycol can also cause dry mouth, which inhibits your body’s natural bacteria removal mechanism. When oral bacteria aren’t kept in check, you are more likely to develop tooth decay and gingivitis.

Vegetable Glycerin and Flavorings Are Harmful to Teeth

Vape juice contains flavoring and vegetable glycerin (a sweetener), both of which are very sticky. These substances can stick to your teeth, attracting bacteria and giving them an ideal environment to grow out of control. When combined with the tooth enamel damage caused by propylene glycol, bacteria are free to aggressively attack your teeth, potentially causing tooth decay, infections, and eventually, tooth loss.

Is Vaping Safe for Your Oral Health?

Because many ingredients present in vape juice are harmful, it is clear that vaping presents a danger to your teeth, gums, and other bodily systems. If you or your teen is vaping, doctors and dentists recommend quitting immediately to prevent long-term harm to your body. If you need help quitting, resources are available online at

Your dentist may also be able to assist you with information and resources to help you quit. If you are concerned about the effects of vaping on your oral health, we suggest speaking to your dentist as soon as possible to ensure you can mitigate the negative consequences. For Chicago-area residents, American Dental is available to provide advice about vaping and a range of other oral health concerns. Call (773) 284-1645 or visit our contact page for a list of our eight clinics in Chicagoland and schedule an appointment online with a general dentist in Belmont Cragin and other Chicago-area communities.

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