Can Dentists Tell If You Vape?


Over the past few years, there has been an increase in the number of people who have switched from traditional cigarettes to electronic cigarettes, also known as vapes. Many people believe that vaping is a healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes. However, this is not necessarily true, as vaping can also cause health problems, even for the best disposable vapes in the market.

In this article, we will focus on the impact of vaping on dental health and answer the question of whether dentists can tell if you vape or not. If you are curious about the effects of electronic cigarettes on your oral health, keep reading as the answers may surprise you.

how can your dentist tell if you smoke?

Can Dentists Tell If You Vape?

While dentists can tell if a person is a regular smoker, identifying whether a person vapes or smokes cigarettes is not as clear. However, after a dental check-up, dentists can tell if a person consumes nicotine, regardless of whether they use traditional or electronic cigarettes. Nicotine can cause yellow and brown stains on teeth, cavities, and gum damage.

Determining whether a dentist can tell if you vape or not depends on several variables. The dentist will consider how often you vape and whether you use only electronic cigarettes or also smoke traditional cigarettes. A person who regularly smokes and then switches to vaping may still have stains on their teeth due to nicotine. This can cause dental problems when mixed with saliva. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor that can lead to poor circulation to the gums.

gums damaged by vaping

What Does Vaping Do to Our Teeth?

The long-term effects of excessive vaping are still unclear as electronic cigarettes are a relatively new device. However, studies show that excessive vaping can affect dental health. Vapers are more likely to develop gum and teeth diseases due to the sucrose or sugar alcohol found in vape flavors and juice. These components can cause cavities and are four times more likely to adhere to teeth and damage tooth enamel, leading to gum disease.

Dry Mouth

Propylene Glycol, an ingredient found in vaping oils, has a similar effect to nicotine by reducing the amount of saliva flow in your mouth. This chemical has the ability to absorb moisture in your mouth, leading to dry tissues and tooth surfaces. Since saliva plays a crucial role in preventing tooth decay, decreased saliva flow can result in dry mouth, causing an increase in plaque bacteria, tooth decay, and an elevated risk of gum disease.

periodontitis from vaping

Can Vaping Cause Cavities?

Propylene glycol can also break down into acids that harm tooth enamel, making them more susceptible to cavities. Additionally, vegetable glycerin and other flavorings present in oils assist bacteria in adhering to already damaged teeth. These flavoring additives are known to reduce enamel hardness by 27%.

Does Vaping Stain Your Teeth?

Yes, vaping can stain your teeth. Vaping various flavor additives can turn your teeth a bit yellow. However, vaping doesn’t stain your teeth like smoking would. Smoking contains tar which gives your yellow and brown stains.

What Are the Signs of Vaping That Dentists Can Identify?

Dentists cannot tell if a person is a constant vaper just by looking at their teeth, but they can identify signs of nicotine consumption. Some of these signs are yellow and brown stains on teeth, dry mouth, cracked or split tongue, accumulation of bacteria in plaque, bad breath, presence of tooth decay, weakening of tooth enamel and teeth loss, resection of the gum tissue and gum inflammation, and bruxism.

If you are underage or feel ashamed of vaping or smoking, you may want to hide this information from your dentist or parents. However, hiding your vaping or smoking habits should not be the priority. It is essential to understand the risks associated with smoking and vaping from an early age.

Studies have shown that smoking and vaping can lead to significant gum disease progression, with 44% of smokers, 29% of e-cigarette smokers, and only 18% of non-smokers developing gum disease. Furthermore, studies conducted in 2018 indicate that the bacteria that cause cavities are three times more likely to proliferate and adhere to teeth surfaces if generated using vapor.

cavities from vaping

Best Dental Practices for Vapers

To maintain good oral health, it's important to follow a few key practices:

  • Make sure to schedule regular checkups with both your dentist and hygienist.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time to prevent the buildup of plaque, which can lead to both gum disease and tooth decay. Using an electric toothbrush can also be beneficial.
  • After eating, use dental floss to reduce the amount of plaque in your mouth.
  • To prevent teeth stains, limit your intake of sugary and caffeinated foods and drinks, as well as red wine.
  • Stay hydrated as much as you can since vape juice can dehydrate your mouth. It also helps you stay away from vapers tongue.

Your dentist can advise you on how often to schedule check ups based on your individual needs. These appointments are important because they allow your dentist to assess your oral health and identify any issues early on.


In conclusion, while electronic cigarettes may seem like a healthier alternative to smoking, they still pose significant health risks, particularly to dental health. Dentists cannot always tell if a person vapes or smokes, but they can identify signs of nicotine consumption. It is crucial to be aware of the dangers associated with smoking and vaping and to prioritize good oral hygiene.

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