Everything Vaping Could Damage Your Smile

By Steven Reinberg Health Day Reporter

(Health Day)

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 23, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Along with their other health risks, e-cigarettes can cause your teeth to rot, according to a new study.

Vaping appears to promote cavities, which can lead to tooth loss if not treated quickly, experts say.

“If you vape, be aware that there are potentially adverse effects on oral health,” the lead researcher said. Dr. Karina Irusaassistant professor of comprehensive care at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston.

“If you vape be sure to mention this to your dentist as it can be important to make sure we customize your preventative routine to be a bit more aggressive than we would be for the average patient,” a- she declared.

In the United States, 9.1 million adults and 2 million teenagers use tobacco-based vaping products, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s a lot of potential tooth decay.

For the study, Irusa and his colleagues analyzed data from more than 13,000 patients treated at Tufts Dental Clinics from 2019 to 2022. All were 17 and older.

Although most patients did not vape, researchers found that 79% of those who did had an elevated risk of cavities, compared to about 60% of patients who did not use e-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes can increase the risk of tooth decay because the sugar content and stickiness of vaping liquid sticks to teeth, Irusa said.

Vaping liquids also change the microbiome in the mouth, making it friendlier to cavity-causing bacteria. And vaping appears to promote decay in areas where it doesn’t usually occur, such as the lower edge of the front teeth, she noted.

Some laboratory studies have shown that vapor from e-cigarette liquid promotes bad bacteria in the mouth.

“The bacteria that cause decomposition when exposed to this vapor seem to be more virulent, just more aggressive, and they can survive in harsher conditions,” Irusa said.

“With e-liquids, we are also seeing gum health issues similar to what we would see in tobacco,” she said.

“From a gum perspective as well as a tooth perspective, if you have a big cavity, it just gets worse if nothing is done. Then you end up losing your tooth or needing dental work. thorough to try to save the tooth,” Irusa explained.

Dentists should routinely ask about e-cigarette use as part of a patient’s medical history, she said. That includes teens, as US health officials found nearly 8% of college and high school students admitted to using e-cigarettes in 2021, according to a press release from Tufts.

Vapers should maintain a rigorous regimen of brushing and flossing, using fluoride toothpaste and prescription fluoride rinse, as well as fluoride treatments. They also need checkups more often than twice a year, Irusa said.

Patricia Folan is Director of Clinical Programs at Northwell Health Center for Tobacco Control in Great Neck, NY. She said: “While this study has several limitations, including small sample size, the association between caries and e-cigarette use is a concern that potential and current e-cigarette users should. take into account.”

Increasingly, research indicates that e-cigarettes are not as safe as advertised, Folan said. “E-cigarettes have been associated with high levels of addiction as well as heart and respiratory disease. Further studies would be useful to confirm the impact of e-cigarettes on dental health,” she added.

“Health care providers, including dentists, should ask all patients about their tobacco use, including e-cigarettes, advise them to quit, and provide them with the resources to do so,” Folan said. Those resources should include quit smoking medications and information about local programs and quit smoking helplines, she noted.

The report was published online November 23 in the Journal of the American Dental Association.

SOURCES: Karina Irusa, DDS, assistant professor, comprehensive care, School of Dentistry, Tufts University, Boston; Patricia Folan, DNP, RN, director, clinical program, Center for Tobacco Control, Northwell Health, Great Neck, NY; Journal of the American Dental Association, November 23, 2022, online

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