Can The Dentist Tell If You Vape?

Can The Dentist Tell If You Vape

A lot of people take their oral health and hygiene very seriously and for good reason as well. Nobody wants to go to the dentist and get a lecture from their Dentist regarding the poor condition of their teeth/mouth in general. Smokers are quite commonly at the fore front to get the book read to them due to it being so glaringly obvious to a dentist that they smoke and it is causing detriment to their oral health.

But the main question in topic for this article is the titular question…can your dentist tell if you actually vape? Well, it all depends really and I’m not just saying that to be vague, it genuinely does depend on a few factors! In this article, I’m going to take a look at this in detail and see if we can come to a definitive answer on whether or not your dentist can tell if you vape. Let’s get into it!

Can The Dentist Tell If You Vape?

Yes, Dentists can tell if you vape, they are professionals for a reason! This is because Vaping does cause some side effects to your mouth and overall oral health, but nothing as severe as what cigarettes does. I’ll list a couple of points below;

Dry Mouth – Vaping can cause dry mouth, because of the VG and PG used to make Vape Juice. This can be spotted by your Dentist as there may be a lack of saliva in your mouth, and sticky feeling on your teeth.

Teeth Stain – If your vape juice contains Nicotine, there’s always a chance that this could stain your teeth as Nicotine reacts with saliva. Whilst it won’t stain your teeth as fast as what Nicotine from cigarettes will, nor will it be as severe as this, the nicotine from your vape juice does carry the risk of turning your teeth a feint tinge of yellow.

As I mentioned, these symptoms will be very mild compared to how severe they would be if you smoked, so don’t be too nervous when visiting the dentist!

Smoking Cigarettes Is Terrible For Your Oral Health

Smoking really does have a lot of negative effects on a persons body, and one part it is most notorious for doing damage to is your mouth.

Smoking can heavily discolour your teeth with a yellowy tinge which is down to the chemicals found in cigarette smoke, and also the nicotine. As well as this, it can give you really bad breath which will be noticeable to others when you speak to them, and also gum disease which is hard to overcome once it’s set it. And in very extreme cases, it can also lead to Oral Cancer.

Non smokers will not suffer from any of these conditions, and also if you quit smoking and started vaping, your oral health and hygiene will start to improve as you won’t be adding any further to it by smoking cigarettes and inhaling the smoke which contains all of the toxic chemicals. So by starting to use an e-cigarette, you will start making positive steps in the right direction.

But can Vaping cause any harm to your oral health like what cigarettes do?

Vaping and Your Oral Health

It’s pretty glaringly obvious that Cigarettes and E-Cigarettes are completely different, with the main thing being one produces actual smoke, and the other produces vapour…I don’t need to explain which one does what!

When using an E-Cigarette, you don’t run any risk of inhaling the toxic chemicals like you would from a cigarette, and the the vapour produced will not stain your teeth like what cigarette smoke does, despite it containing nicotine. This is because the vapour is made up of tiny particles/droplets, and not actual smoke.

Whilst there isn’t any long term evidence that’s been uncovered due to Vaping still being “new” (under 10 years) there has been speculation surrounding this topic, with some sources saying Vaping can cause problems such as dry mouth, and also gum disease due to the sweeteners and flavourings added into vape juice, with some far fetched stories going as far as saying “Vaping made my teeth fall out” I’ll come onto this matter next in this article.

Whilst Vaping MAY have some risks involved by affecting your Oral Health, one thing for sure is that it is a lot less harmful to your mouth than if you smoked cigarettes. And has considerably less impact or damage on your dental hygiene and health.

False Stories In The Media Regarding Vaping & Dental Hygiene

Vaping has amassed it’s fair share of negative media and attention, with it constantly being held in a dark light due to the “negative effects” it has, and funnily enough the majority of the time, the stories published aren’t even factual and are nothing more than scaremongering and false information.

For the basis of this article, we will take a look at a story that wormed its way into “mainstream” media, and that was a story published on the Daily Mail website back in February of this year (2023)


As you can see, they really went for the full house there by saying it can increase the risk of oral cancer, as well as vape users and cigarette smokers experiencing similar levels of DNA damage before going for the big ending and saying regular use of flavoured vapes has been shown to damage DNA in the lungs. And if this wasn’t enough, The Times also published an article with the fear striking headline;

“Elf Bars and me. I’m an addict so will I get gum disease?”

But fear not! As a duo of experts soon put this article straight as quick as it got published. Dr Richard Holiday and Professor Elaine McColl sent a letter to the newspaper to inform them of the flaws found within this article.

“Sir, The article “Elf bars and me: I’m a vaping addict, so will I get gum disease?” (Times June 8th) suggests that the use of e-cigarettes (and specifically nicotine) leads to Gum disease, but this does not represent the scientific evidence in this field. Tobacco smoking is a major cause of oral diseases including Periodontal (Gum) disease. Smoke and not Nicotine is responsible for these harms, although this often gets confused.

Indeed oral nicotine, such as Gum, has been used without concern for decades. Nicotine use does not lead to Gum disease. In the case of bleeding gums, it is normal for smokers to get this when they quit; if this happens those affected should see their dental team for a full examination.

Finally smokers who are thinking about switching to an e-cigarette should bear in mind that this is a great move for their general and oral health”

As I said, the experts swooped in and shut it down in quick fashion which is what is becoming a frequent thing when misinformation and false media is published, which is the ideal scenario really!

You might have seen in the last couple of months videos surfacing on TikTok with a Dentist from the UK speaking about this same topic of Disposables and Gum Disease, which also led to a Daily Mail article being printed on the same lines, but it was dispelled as quick as it surfaced. And I find it really curious that Dentist’s are taking to social media to blacken the name of Vaping, when there’s literature being printed specifically for Dentists which is essentially suggesting people turn to Vaping to help them quit smoking and improve their oral health. I’ll explain below…

A Guide for Dental Professionals and Patients on using E-Cigarettes

In recent times, literature has been printed to help Dentists navigate their way through the minefield that is getting their patients to stop smoking if they want to improve their overall dental health and hygiene. The National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training printed a “Very Brief Advice” leaflet on smoking for Dentists to go through with their patients. The purpose of these things is that they are short sharp 30 seconds instructional leaflets giving advice on the conversations that can be had by Dentists with their patients if they were smokers.

Within this leaflet, it talks about giving up smoking and recommending people visit stop smoking services to help them get the advice and support they need but also highlights the use of E-Cigarettes to help them along their quitting journey. The leaflet says that E-Cigarettes carry significant less risks than smoking cigarettes does, and that due to the lack of combustion when using an E-Cigarette compared to smoking, there aren’t any of the chemicals present that can cause lung cancer or heart disease. The leaflet doesn’t say anything bad about vaping at all, nor does it suggest that Dentists should detract their patients from using E-Cigarettes either. Interesting…

And finally, in August 2022 an article was posted on, which is a website specialising in all things to do with the world of Dentistry, and this article was titled “Vaping and Oral Health – An Update” and guess who wrote it? Dr Holiday and Professor McColl who shut down The Times article I mentioned above!

The article is filled with evidence fuelled statements, and it really is a good read which I highly recommend taking the time to read through it, especially if you’re concerned about the titular question of this article. And they conclude the article with the statement that a person choosing to switch to E-Cigarettes from smoking will see a substantial improvement in their oral health, which is the main priority for most people I would expect.

To conclude, I wouldn’t be too concerned if you were visiting the dentist and were an active user of E-Cigarettes. What you’re choosing to do is considerably safer and better for your oral health as well as overall health by not smoking cigarettes…Even the Professionals say the same thing!

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