Whether you are improving your smile with braces or Invisalign, or you’re not in orthodontic treatment at all, it’s always a good time to look out for your dental health. Given that recent trends in smoking have shifted away from traditional cigarettes to vaping, many people are curious about whether or not vaping can hurt their teeth.
While there’s a common misconception that vaping is a “healthy” alternative to smoking cigarettes, the habit has the potential to significantly harm your teeth.
Receding Gums Caused by Vaping
Consuming nicotine in any capacity reduces your blood flow, which has serious implications for overall health, and your teeth are no exception to this. When your gums don’t get a healthy amount of blood flowing to them, they don’t get the nutrients they need to fight off recession. Because of this, many people who vape will experience accelerated gum recession.
Another effect of reducing the flow of blood to the gums is reduced saliva production, which can create some major problems. Your saliva helps keep your smile healthy by remineralizing your teeth and washing away bacteria. As your blood flow to your mouth is reduced by consuming nicotine, your mouth will become drier, which puts you at a higher risk of tooth decay.
With less saliva to wash away bacteria, you are also more likely to have bad breath. Yikes!
The negative effects of nicotine don’t stop there. Since nicotine acts as a muscle stimulant, it can affect the way you clench your jaw. As your jaw muscles react to the nicotine, it can cause your teeth to grind, which is known as bruxism. Needless to say, having your teeth grind together can cause damage to your teeth over time, including uneven wear or cracking.
People with bruxism are also prone to jaw pain due to continued stress on the jawbone and muscles.
Studies have shown that vaping contributes to gum disease due to how nicotine suppresses the production of saliva and leads to gum recession. This means that continuing your vaping habits can lead to teeth needing to be extracted and severe tooth pain over time. So before you pick up an e-cigarette because it seems like a good alternative to traditional cigarettes, you’ll want to think about keeping your teeth!
Vaping and Orthodontic Treatment
Due to the potential harm vaping can cause to your teeth, it only makes sense that smoking e-cigarettes would disrupt your orthodontic treatment. Even if you’re doing a stellar job keeping up with your cleaning routine, you could end up having a hard time keeping tooth decay at bay.
And while you’ll want to continue seeing your dentist for routine check-ups and cleaning when you have braces or Invisalign, you may find yourself having to make even more trips to the dentist to get fillings or treatment for receding gums if you keep up your vaping habit.
To learn more about how to best care for your teeth during orthodontic treatment, contact Smith Orthodontics today and schedule your free consultation today!