Effects of vaping on dentures

Vaping damaging the denture

Vaping is a relatively ‘new kid on the block’, but its use shares many of the same concerns that cigarette smoking poses for denture wearers. For those who may still be unaware of the term, ‘vaping’ refers to a substitute means of delivering a nicotine hit to the user by inhaling the vapours produced by electronic devices like vape pens, e-cigarettes and other disposable or non-disposable vaping devices.i Like cigarettes, nicotine is not the only chemical of concern. Other chemicals including flavouring, can impact on your dentures and your oral health. Whether you are using vaping as a recreational activity, or to assist in the permanent withdrawal from cigarette smoking, it’s likely you’re here because you want to know about vaping and how you can minimise the effects it may have on your dentures and oral health.

The effects of vaping on your denture’s appearance

A large part of replacing missing teeth with a denture, is to improve your appearance. Is vaping really a threat to your denture’s appearance and longevity? A study on the effects vaping has on the colour stability of your acrylic denture base found that when certain chemical components of the denture encounter some foods and beverages of different temperatures, they are prone to absorb various pollutants. Therefore, both the nicotine and flavours contained in vaping liquids can have a deleterious effect on the appearance and even the structure of your denture.ii Over-the-counter denture whitening products are not effective for removing stains. This will have to be done professionally by your denture clinic. The porous nature of denture materials means in addition to absorbing stains, they also absorb vaping odours which are very difficult to remove.

Effects of vaping on dental implants

Not only does vaping compromise the appearance of your denture, but it also holds dangers for future surgeries. Should you decide at some point to get dental implants, vaping can impede the healing process after the titanium posts designed to hold your denture in place have been implanted in your jawbone. The nicotine in vaping products restricts blood and oxygen circulation which is vital for healing. Nicotine can interfere with the gingival fibroblasts cells which are responsible for forming new tissue around teeth, compromising their ability to regenerate new tissue.iii Similarly, chemicals contained in vape products can negatively affect osteoblasts, the cells responsible for bone growth and integration with the implants, causing them to fail.iv

Other effects of vaping on dentures

Saliva is essential for preventing harmful bacteria build-up in your mouth and keeping the oral tissues lubricated. The chemicals in vaping dry out the oral tissues, increasing the risk of bad breath, infection, and decay in remaining natural teeth. Vaping chemicals can cause inflammation of the gums and oral tissues making the wearing of your denture painful because of sore spots, which negatively affect your speech and ability to eat. Further, the healing process is inhibited for those who vape, creating the perfect storm for denture wearers.v

The effects of vaping on your dentures and general oral well-being

Research on the relatively new phenomenon of vaping is in its infancy and mostly focused on known toxicants.vi However, John Hopkins University researchers point to the “thousands of unknown chemicals and substances” vaping products contain,vii which have potentially harmful consequences for denture wearers. Among the known risks vaping poses for oral health are peri-implantitis or inflammation of dental implants; implant failure, mouth lesions: precancerous and cancerous; loss of taste; bad breath; oral tissue inflammation; increased risk of infection; impaired ability to heal, extra maintenance to remove stains from dentures and the costs incurred for all the above mentioned.

Effects of vaping on your dentures and pocket

Even with the limited knowledge we have on the damaging effects vaping wreaks on your denture, it is clear this practice will also impact on your finances. Whether you have a removeable denture or dental implants, the chemicals contained in the vaping products can discolour your denture and cause it and your breath to smell bad, put you at greater risk of implant failure or oral disease. If your implant fails, the costs of removing it are considerable. Then there is the expense of replacing it, if indeed that is possible.viii And these are just the risks we know about. All these consequences have a monetary cost sure to impact on the considerable investment you have made in your appearance, ability to enjoy your food, and speak or sing with confidence.

How can I avoid harming my dentures by vaping?

The optimal advice to prevent damage to your dentures by the practise of vaping - is to stop. The next best thing is to maintain a strict oral hygiene regime and have your dentures regularly checked and cleaned by your prosthetist. In addition, make sure to have dental checks for any remaining natural teeth you may have, every six months. Drinking lots of water and chewing sugar-free gum will increase saliva production and help avoid the consequences of a dry mouth.

Final words on the effects of vaping on dentures

Research conducted to date on the practice of inhaling vaping products, reveals detrimental effects for dentures on aesthetic, oral health, and economic grounds. Claims vaping is a healthier alternative to smoking cannot be validated given that the risks posed by the unknown chemicals they contain have not yet been determined.

References

i https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/5-truths- you-need-to-know-about-vaping
ii https://assets.researchsquare.com/files/rs-1577546/v1/4a5fae28-123e- 47dd-a7e6-eb1e1e40787f.pdf?c=1658294964
iii Vaping and Dental Implants: What Are the Dangers? (lawfirm.com) iv Vaping and Dental Implants: What Are the Dangers? (lawfirm.com) v https://bakerdentureclinic.ca/the-effects-of-vaping-with-
dentures/#:~:text=Vaping%20Can%20Stain%20Your%20Dentures&text=You%2 0will%20have%20to%20get,the%20smell%20cannot%20be%20removed.
vi Characterizing the Chemical Landscape in Commercial E-Cigarette Liquids and Aerosols by Liquid Chromatography–High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry
Mina W. Tehrani, Matthew N. Newmeyer, Ana M. Rule, and Carsten Prasse Chemical Research in Toxicology 2021 34 (10), 2216-2226
DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemrestox.1c00253
vii https://hub.jhu.edu/2021/10/07/vaping-unknown-chemicals/ viii https://www.lawfirm.com/news/vaping-dental-implants/



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