Vaping, formerly thought to be a harmless habit, has been linked to a variety of health problems over the years.
According to the most recent data from the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, individuals who use vaping devices are more likely to develop cavities. And, as the number of vapers grows — according to CDC surveys, 9.1 million American adults and 2 million teenagers use tobacco-based vaping devices — that can only mean a lot of “vulnerable” teeth.
“The general public has become more aware of the dangers of vaping, particularly since the activity has been linked to lung disease. Though some dental research has found a link between e-cigarette use & gum disease, even dentists have focused less emphasis on the ‘intersection between e-cigarette use & oral health “According to Karina Irusa, assistant professor of comprehensive care and lead author on the publication,
The first study to link vaping to an increased risk of tooth decay
According to Irusa, this is the first study to “particularly” evaluate the relationship between vaping and e-cigarettes and the chance of developing cavities. More than 13,000 individuals over the age of 16 who were treated at Tufts dental clinics between 2019 to 2022 were studied.
The researchers discovered a “statistically significant” difference in the risk of dental caries between the e-cigarette/vaping group and the control group. 79% of vaping patients were classified as having a high risk of caries, compared to roughly 60% of the control group.
It should be noted that vaping consumers were not questioned about whether their devices contained nicotine or THC.
“It is important to understand that this is preliminary data,” Irusa said. “It’s not 100% conclusive, but people need to be aware of what we’re seeing.”
Sugary content in vaping liquid to be blamed
How does the usage of e-cigarettes affect dental health?
The sugary content & viscosity of vaping liquids stick to teeth when aerosolized and inhaled through mouth. A study published earlier this year found that vaping affects the oral microbiome in the user’s mouth.
This study also discovered that vaping promoted tooth deterioration in places like the front teeth’s bottom edges. It take asthetic toll, according to Irusa.
What can be done?
As part of a patient’s medical history, dentists must regularly inquire about e-cigarette use.
According to the release, the Tufts researchers also recommend that patients who use e-cigarettes be considered for a “more rigorous caries management protocol,” which could include prescription-strength fluoride toothpaste & fluoride rinse, in-office fluoride applications, and checkups more frequently than twice a year.
“Depending on how bad it gets, it takes a lot of time and money to manage dental caries,” Irusa explained. “Once you’ve begun the habit, even if you get fillings, as long as you continue, you’re still at danger of secondary caries.” It’s a never-ending vicious circle.”
The study was published in The Journal of the American Dental Association