Vaping + Oral Health

January 22, 2020

We’ve long understood the negative correlation between smoking and oral health, but it turns out vaping can cause similar, irreversible, damage. Damage that may lead to the death of gum tissue, gum disease and, in some cases, loss of teeth – making vaping a significant risk to your oral health.

Does vaping ruin your chances of successful orthodontic treatment?

It’s possible. E-cigarettes don’t contain tobacco like traditional cigarettes, but they do contain nicotine, which is a risk to your mouth.

Literature indicates nicotine reduces blood flow, which can lead to the death of gum tissues and gum recession. It also may cause gum inflammation and swelling, tooth sensitivity, increased risk of cavities and, in some cases, loss of teeth.

In addition to the damages noted above, the combination of the dry mouth, bacteria and tooth decay resulting from nicotine is a formula for gum disease.

So, why does this matter for successful orthodontic treatment?

The key factor in determining a good candidate for orthodontic treatment is the health of teeth and gums. It is imperative to have a periodontal (gum) check-up with either a periodontist or your general dentist to make sure that your mouth is a good candidate prior to beginning treatment.

The acceleration of gum damage caused by vaping reduces the ability of teeth and gums to respond to orthodontic treatment. In other words, your teeth do not move as fast if you are vaping.

There is also an added tendency for teeth to relapse into previous positions post-treatment, due to increased risk of gum disease.

The takeaway:

The harm vaping may cause is completely preventable. If you’re considering orthodontic treatment, you’re considering investing a lot of time and effort in creating a healthy smile. Don’t chance damaging it.

Trust an AAO orthodontist.

You can work with an American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) Orthodontist to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile at any age. Orthodontists are experts in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics – properly aligned teeth and jaws – and possess the skills and experience to give you your best smile. Find an orthodontist near you at aaoinfo.org/locator.