- This isn’t the first time vaping has been suspected of harming our teeth.
- Previous research has shown links between e-cigarette use and gum disease and damage to tooth enamel.
Electronic cigarette users are more likely to develop cavities. This is revealed by a new study conducted by professors at Tufts University School of Dentistry, published November 23 in The Journal of the American Dental Association.
Oral health: the liquid of electronic cigarettes is implicated
One of the reasons e-cigarette use might contribute to a higher risk of cavities is the sugar content and viscosity of vaping liquid which, when inhaled as an aerosol through the mouth , sticks to the teeth. Additionally, vaping aerosols alter the oral microbiome, making it more hospitable to the bacteria responsible for vaping. decay. It has also been observed that vaping seems to promote cavities in areas where it does not usually occur, such as the lower edge of the front teeth.
Prof. Karina Irusa, lead author of the study, suspects that this new finding may be just a taste of all the harm that mouth vaping could cause. “The extent of the effects on dental health, particularly tooth decay, is still relatively unknown”she explains in a communicated.
For this study, she and her colleagues analyzed data from more than 13,000 patients over the age of 16 who were treated at Tufts dental clinics from 2019 to 2022. They found there was a statistically significant difference in the levels of risk of dental caries between the group of e-cigarette users and the group of those who do not use them. Some 79% of vaping patients were classified as having a high risk of cavities, compared to around 60% of the control group. The researchers did not ask vaping patients whether they used devices containing nicotine or THC, although nicotine was more common.
E-cigarette: recommendations from researchers to dentists
“It is important to understand that this is preliminary datasays Irusa. It’s not 100% conclusive, but people need to be aware of what we’re seeing.” More studies need to be done and Irusa wants to take a closer look at how the vaping affects the microbiology of saliva.
Tufts University researchers still recommend that dentists routinely ask questions about e-cigarette use as part of a patient’s medical history, including pediatric dentists who receive teenagers.
They also suggest that patients who use e-cigarettes should be considered for a “stronger caries management protocol”which could include prescription fluoride toothpaste and fluoride rinse, office fluoride applications, and checkups more often than twice a year.
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Electronic cigarettes: what are the consequences for your teeth?
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