Vaping and dental implant failure are unfortunately linked. Your dentist will likely recommend you stop vaping before and after receiving a dental implant. Learn more about the dangers of vaping and dental implants.
Risks of Vaping and Dental Implants
If you or a loved one currently need a dental implant and partake in vaping, you may need to quit so that the procedure may be a success.
A dental implant is a titanium tooth root placed into the jaw. Doctors surgically place the implant in the jawbone, and new bone naturally grows around it, allowing it to stay in place. If the implant is successful, dentists can then attach an artificial tooth.
Traditionally, doctors have encouraged cigarette smokers to quit before getting dental implants. The chemicals from smoking can prevent bones from growing around the dental implant, increasing the risk of failure.
While companies like JUUL have marketed vape products as safer alternatives to regular cigarettes, new research shows that vaping can prevent bones from properly growing around the implants.
Vaping Impairs Bone Growth
Vaping harms cells in the body called osteoblasts. Osteoblasts are required to form new bones and help existing bones grow.
A study published by the National Library of Medicine in 2018 concluded that e-cigarette vapor harmed osteoblasts.
In the study, osteoblasts were placed on titanium implant discs similar to dental implants. These discs were then exposed to cigarette smoke, e-vapor with nicotine, and nicotine-free e-vapor for controlled periods of time.
The results showed that nicotine-free and nicotine-based vapes impaired osteoblast growth, with the latter doing more harm than the former.
Nicotine Slows Recovery From Dental Implant Surgery
Vape products that contain nicotine carry additional risks to those who need dental implants.
Nicotine prevents blood and oxygen from effectively circulating throughout the body. Without proper circulation, it may take longer to heal from dental implant surgery.
Nicotine may also affect cells called gingival fibroblasts. These cells are responsible for forming connective tissue around the teeth. Recent research has shown that nicotine may weaken the gingival fibroblast’s ability to create new tissue.
Dental Implant Failure
Because vaping can impair bone growth, cell growth, and the body’s ability to recover from surgery, it can cause a dental implant to fail.
An implant fails when it causes pain or does not attach to the jawbone correctly.
In the event of failure, the implant should be removed. Dental implant removal can cost up to $1,000 — and the patient will probably need to pay even more to get a new implant.
For these reasons, many dentists urge patients who need dental implants to reconsider vaping and practice proper oral hygiene habits.
Other Dental Risks of Vaping
Nicotine is not the only dangerous substance found in e-cigarettes. The e-liquid used in these products also contains chemicals like vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol, which allow bacteria to stick to teeth and cause cavities to form.
Studies have shown these substances increased the number of bacteria on enamel, the protective outer layer of the teeth, by four times.
Studies have also shown a 27% decrease in enamel hardness when flavorings were added to e-liquid compared to unflavored e-liquids. Softer enamel weakens the teeth and makes complications more likely.
According to new research from the New York University College of Dentistry, vaping changes the bacteria found in the mouth. Researchers found that those who vape had higher rates of bacteria linked to mouth infections and gum disease.
The aerosol created by using e-cigarettes promotes gum inflammation. Exposure to e-cigarette aerosol also makes cells susceptible to infection.
The risk was highest in those that used e-cigarettes, even though cigarette smokers were also part of the study.
Vaping can also increase the risk of the following oral health issues:
- Peri-implantitis (inflammation of dental implants)
- Precancerous and cancerous lesions in the mouth
- Teeth stains
- Taste derangement
Tooth Loss from Vape Battery Explosions
Other than causing diseases, the batteries in vape products can explode during use and knock out teeth.
In an article by Tribune Media Wire, a 17-year-old boy was vaping when his e-cigarette exploded inside his mouth without warning. The boy lost several teeth and suffered a hole in his jaw.
A study from 2018 estimated that over 2,000 vape battery explosions have hospitalized users. The explosions damaged the victims’ teeth, eyes, hands, and faces. Some victims even died from these explosions.
Resources to Quit Vaping
Dentists will likely recommend that patients quit vaping before and after dental implants. Vaping can be highly addictive, but there are ways to quit for good.
- Working with doctors and addiction specialists
- Distancing yourself from those who still vape
- Focusing on the health benefits of quitting
Teenagers and young adults may find quitting especially hard since many of their peers may still be vaping. Fortunately, parents can step in to help their children. Access some of our parent resources right now.