Nicotine staining to teeth is an unpleasant bi-product of cigarette smoking which, along with bad breath, can cause self-consciousness and factor in the decision to stop smoking. Fortunately, recent research indicates that vape users are subject to less teeth-staining, and overall, better oral health than their smoker counterparts.
In a 2019 study by British American Tobacco (BAT), scientists from an independent laboratory examined the effects of cigarette smoke versus vapour on cow’s teeth which had been treated to match human enamel. They concluded that when compared to the control sample, which was exposed to no cigarette smoke or vapour aerosol, exposure to vapour showed little to no colour change. Comparatively, after just one day the sample treated with cigarette smoke showed visible signs of staining.
Below we explore the specifics of why cigarette smoke stains teeth and how vaping affects teeth so differently.
Tar In Cigarettes
The culprit ingredients in traditional cigarettes which are responsible for the majority of teeth staining are tar and nicotine. All vaping devices and e-cigarettes work using the same basic principle, the process of atomisation. They contain a battery, an atomiser, a chamber for e-liquid and a mouthpiece. By using a heated coil, the e-liquid can be atomised into a vapour aerosol which is then inhaled by the user. By contrast, cigarettes must be burned in order to be inhaled. This causes tar to be released and exposed to tooth enamel. For vape users asking the question, ‘does vaping cause stained teeth?’ - the lack of tar is a key factor in reducing staining.
Can nicotine cause vaping stain?
Nicotine is also associated with teeth staining, so vaping teeth stain can still occur, especially if you’re using vape juice with high concentrations of colouring agents or nicotine. Our e-liquids are sold in a range of strengths ranging from 0-18mg of nicotine, making it easy to decrease your nicotine intake over time if you’re worried about effects on your oral health. We also carry a range of freebase Nic Salts, which utilise specially enhanced nicotine which improves smoothness and offers deeper satisfaction, making it an ideal option for those looking to make the switch from smoking as it can give the sensation of a stronger more instant feeling hit, without harshness.
Smoking & Oral Hygiene
As we look into vaping and teeth staining, it’s also important to consider the general health effects of smoking and vaping on teeth and gums. Both smoking and vaping carry the risk of affecting the gums through vasoconstriction meaning that nicotine constricts vessels in the gums, diminishing blood flow, which can lead to increased risk of infection or gingival inflammation.
As well as vasoconstriction to the gums, smoking also weakens the immune system. Meaning that any gum inflammation or infection is less likely to heal, putting the smoker at direct risk of gum disease which could contribute to receding gums in the long term. Smoking also has a negative effect on other aspects or oral hygiene including tooth decay, dry mouth, bruxism, gum disease and can eventually lead to mouth cancer.
Dental expert Dr Nigel Carter of the British Dental Health Foundation said of the risks that smoking has on oral health: ‘Smoking is the cause of many serious oral health problems including worsening gum disease...It is also responsible for the majority or mouth cancers and is the direct cause of thousands of deaths every year.’
Vaping and Oral Health
When considering the effect that vaping has on oral health, a 2016 Italian clinical study of 110 real life smokers is identified that those who switched to vaping showed greatly improved oral health after just 120 days with regards to plaque and gum bleeding. This supports a switch to vaping as a method of not only reducing teeth staining but improving oral health in general.