Can a dentist tell if you vape? Well, that may seem like a simple question, but the answer is somewhat complicated. There are several factors to consider when a dentist determines if you vape or not.
The first consideration is how often you vape. The more you vape, the more obvious it will be to your dentist that you vape. Another consideration is if you only vape, or if you vape and smoke cigarettes. Because both have nicotine, they can cause the same side effects in your mouth.
So, how can a dentist tell if you vape? There are some straightforward signs that can tell the dentist that you do.
How Can a Dentist Tell if You Vape? Signs That Give You Away
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Dry mouth
- Tobacco stomatitis, or smoker’s palate, which are sores on the roof of your mouth
- Yellow or brown nicotine stains on your teeth and tongue
- Recessed gums and gum disease
- Canker sores
- Black hairy tongue, which is unpleasant but harmless
- Oral thrush (smoking is a risk factor for this mild yeast infection)
- Breathing difficulties or smoker’s cough
Are Smoking and Vaping Bad for Your Teeth?
The short and straightforward answer to if smoking and vaping is bad for your teeth is yes. Smoking and vaping have serious effects that are bad for your teeth, tongue, mouth, lips, throat, and even more.
Vaping and smoking increases the risk of developing certain types of cancer, especially oral cancers. Studies have found that 90% of people diagnosed with oral cancers are smokers. It is obvious that vaping and smoking should be avoided to prevent serious health consequences. There has also not been enough data found to know if vaping is actually better than smoking, so it is probably best to avoid both if you can.
What Does Vaping Do to Your Mouth?
Now that it has been established that smoking and vaping are bad for your teeth, let’s take a deeper look at some of the effects they have on your teeth.
Teeth Yellow and Brown
Nicotine is a chemical compound found in tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco. It is one of the primary contributors to the yellowing and browning of teeth in individuals who use these products.
When tobacco products are burned and inhaled or chewed, they produce a thick, sticky substance called tar. Nicotine, which is highly soluble in water, combines with the tar and other chemicals in tobacco. Over time, these residues can accumulate on the teeth, forming a layer that is difficult to remove.
Nicotine and tar have a natural affinity for tooth enamel, and it can bind to the porous enamel surface and cause staining. This staining can range from yellowish to brownish in color, depending on the duration and frequency of tobacco use.
Most e-liquids used in vaping contain ingredients that lead to dry mouth because they absorb moisture. When you inhale vaporized e-liquid, it can absorb moisture from the oral cavity, leading to a sensation of dryness.
Nicotine also plays a factor in dry mouth. Nicotine can reduce blood flow to the salivary glands, which are responsible for producing saliva. Reduced blood flow can hinder the normal functions of these glands, resulting in decreased saliva production and dry mouth.
Dry mouth is not only uncomfortable but can also have negative consequences for oral health. Saliva plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy mouth by helping to wash away food particles, neutralize acids, and protect against tooth decay and gum disease. Dry mouth can cause cracked lips and bad breath, affect the taste of food, and bring on more cavities.
Vaping can cause mouth burns or oral injuries. Vaping devices typically contain hot vapor, and when users draw in this hot vapor, it can come into contact with the delicate tissues of the mouth. This exposure to high temperatures can result in burns or scalds, similar to the way hot food or beverages can burn the mouth.
Some vaping devices may malfunction, leading to overheating or other issues that can increase the risk of burns. Advanced vaping devices with adjustable power settings can produce extremely hot vapor at high wattages. Using these types of devices also increases the risk of burns if users are not cautious.
Reduce Impacts of Vaping on Oral Health
Although vaping can create major problems for your oral health, there are some simple precautions you can take to reduce the impacts of vaping.
Brush Your Teeth
Brush your teeth using a fluoride-containing toothpaste. One of the most effective ways to take care of your teeth and mouth is to brush your teeth for two full minutes twice a day. Using fluoride-containing toothpaste helps remove plaque caused by vaping and can keep your mouth significantly cleaner.
Another major action to take is to floss every day. Flossing helps those who vape keep their teeth and gums clean and healthy. Plaque can be removed from teeth easier with floss than just brushing. Floss can get between the teeth, and it helps reduce the risk of cavities and tooth decay.
Regular Dental Visits
Scheduling dental appointments regularly is one of the most effective ways to keep your mouth and teeth healthy. How can a dentist tell if you vape? Well, they have years of training to recognize issues in the mouth. Dentists have tools and access to products that can treat your mouth and whatever problems you may be experiencing. It is important to be open with your dentist about your vaping habits so he or she can give you the best treatment for you.
Schedule a Visit With Us
If you are looking for a reliable dental office to help you care for your teeth and mouth in the Salt Lake City area, Avenues Dentistry is the place for you. We offer dental services and a friendly staff who can provide you with a comfortable experience, and leave your mouth and teeth better than ever.