518 Te Atatu Road, Te Atatu Peninsula, 0610
518 Te Atatu Road, Atatu Peninsula, 0610
Call 09 834 6359

Vaping is on the increase in New Zealand. According to the New Zealand Health Survey, in 2021-2022, 1 in 12 people aged 15 or over vaped every day. In 2019/20, this figure was just 1 in 30.

The long-term consequences of vaping aren’t yet fully understood. But we do know that vaping has oral health effects and can impact your overall wellbeing too.

This article will set out what we know about vaping and how it affects your mouth, teeth and gums. We’ll also explain signs to look for and how to care for your oral health if you vape.

Is vaping bad for oral health?

Research carried out on vaping has uncovered a number of harmful effects on oral health. These include:

  • Dry mouth. A lack of saliva means that you are more likely to experience tooth decay, bad breath and sores in your mouth.
  • Inflamed gums. This condition is associated with gingivitis and periodontitis, two forms of gum disease that can lead to tooth loss.
  • Irritated mouth and gums. You may also experience a dry cough as a result of throat irritation.
  • DNA damage to cells and cell death. This in turn can lead to gum disease, tooth decay and tooth loss.
  • Build-up of bacteria. If you vape, you are more likely to have bacteria in your mouth, especially in the crevices of your teeth. This makes you more vulnerable to gum disease, tooth decay and cavities requiring fillings.

If the vaping liquid you use contains nicotine, you are even more likely to experience harmful oral health effects.

What symptoms should I look out for?

Be sure to make an appointment with your dentist if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Bleeding, swollen or irritated gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth, especially with hot or cold food or drinks
  • Persistent dry mouth
  • Sores or ulcers that aren’t healing
  • Toothache
  • Pain in the mouth
  • Receding gums

If you have any of these symptoms in addition to swelling in your face or neck or a high temperature, see a healthcare professional without delay. These could be signs of a serious infection.

How can I take care of my oral health if I vape?

If you vape, it’s important to keep up a good oral hygiene routine. This includes:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Flossing between your teeth once a day.
  • Brushing your tongue once a day — you can use your toothbrush or a tongue scraper.
  • Using an antibacterial mouthwash after brushing.
  • Visiting your dentist for a check-up regularly. This means that if you do have any problems as a result of vaping, you can get the treatment you need sooner rather than later.

Caring for your mouth, teeth and gums

Without doubt, vaping can have serious impacts on your oral health. Ideally, you should avoid vaping altogether.

But if you don’t feel you can do this right now, there are steps you can take to look after your mouth, teeth and gums. These include visiting your dentist regularly and getting any treatment you might need.

If you haven’t been to the dentist for a while, now is a good time to make that appointment! Come and see us at Opal Dental, your local dentist in Te Atatu. We love welcoming new patients — and reconnecting with patients we haven’t seen for a while too!

Give us a call or book an appointment online for that check-up today.

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