There’s more reason to believe that vaping is bad for dental health.
A new study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association found that people who vape are at a higher risk of developing tooth decay and periodontal disease.
“Evidence on the potential oral health effects of vaping is scarce and there are limited data on possible links to both caries and periodontal disease. The authors assessed the association between electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) or vape use and caries risk level,” read the background of the study.
The researchers conducted a cross-sectional study using patient records from 13,098 individuals who attended the dental school clinics from Jan. 1, 2019, through Jan. 1, 2022. Most of them did not vape (99.3%), while only a few (0.69%) admitted using e-cigarettes. Among the users, 79% had a significant risk for cavities.
The team established an association between the use of vapes or e-cigarettes and the caries risk level of the patients. They found that those who vaped had a higher risk of developing dental caries.
Based on a 2022 survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 2.55 million middle and high school students in the country use e-cigarettes. The findings of the study suggest that they are at risk of suffering from tooth decay and periodontal disease.
Since vaping seemingly promotes cavities, users are at risk of tooth loss if left untreated. Some lab studies also found that the vapor from e-cigarettes could promote bad bacteria growth in the month, according to U.S. News & World Report.
“If you are vaping, be aware that there are potentially some detrimental oral health effects. If you do vape, make sure to mention this to your dentist because it may be important to make sure we customize your preventive routine to be a bit more aggressive than we would do for the average patient,” lead researcher Dr. Karina Irusa told the outlet.
The assistant professor of comprehensive care at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston further explained that the dental bacteria that causes decay appears to become more virulent and aggressive when exposed to the vapor produced by e-cigarettes.
Jennifer Genuardi, MD, an internist and pediatrician at Urban Health Plan in New York City, reacted to the study, saying the findings were unsurprising.
Genuardi, who was not part of the research team, told Medscape that the ingredients found in e-cigarettes contribute to the overgrowth of cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth.
“We are learning daily more and more about the dangers of vaping. There’s a focus of today’s research on the effect of actions on our microbiome and the subsequent effects on our health,” Genuardi noted.