How vaping can damage your teeth

Read time

19 October 2023

Did you know that you risk damage to your mouth, throat, teeth, and gums from regular vaping?

Chief Dental Officer Dr Mark Brown said there is increasing evidence that vaping may impact oral health and use of e-cigarettes, with or without nicotine, are not recommended.

“It’s not only tobacco smoking that can affect oral health and have other health risks. When vape juice is heated it can potentially damage enamel and irritate soft tissue. As the ingredients tend to be thick and sticky, vapers may be at a higher risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease,” Dr Brown said.

“Vape juice contains propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerine (VG). While these are common food additives, when consumed through a vape, PG breaks down to be acidic which can erode / dissolve / soften tooth enamel and promote growth of plaque and harmful bacteria.

“VG combined with sweetened vape flavourings can help bacteria to stick to teeth and soft tissues, as well as soften tooth enamel.

“A common side effect of vaping is dry mouth, which can not only cause bad breath but can have serious effects on your oral health.

“Vaping can reduce saliva, which is important in protecting our teeth. Less saliva means your teeth are more susceptible to the bacteria that cause tooth decay.

“The oral health risks of dry mouth are compounded if people consume sweetened drinks, such as flavoured milks, energy drinks and soft drinks instead of water to combat the effects, which can then provide a greater food source for bacteria.”

Dr Brown advised that vaping can also discolour teeth.

“We know that younger people are increasingly using vapes, but they should be aware of the risks to their oral health,” he said.

“Having healthy teeth is not only important for eating, smiling and speaking, but they also influence self-esteem.

“If you do smoke or vape, it’s very important you visit your dentist regularly. They will let you know what timing is best for you and can do regular oral health and mouth cancer checks.”

For information and support on how to quit smoking or vaping, you can call Quitline on 13 78 48. Quitline is a confidential, free service that will provide you with information, advice and assistance tailored to your needs. Counsellors are available seven days a week.

You can also access information on quitting smoking or vaping at Quit HQ.