Why vaping might not be a dental friendly activity

Researchers have found the effects of vaping on dental health are detrimental. Companies have promoted vaping as a less unhealthy alternative to cigarette smoking. However, research shows it promotes cavities and can lead to tooth loss.

How much of an issue is vaping?

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), 9.1 million adults and 2 million teenagers in the United States use vaping products.

Study warns about the effects of vaping on dental health

The study analyzed data from more than 13,000 patients receiving dental treatment from 2019 to 2022 at Tufts dental clinics. The patients were age 17 or older. Here is what the study found:

  • About 79% of the patients that vaped had higher risk for cavities compared with the 60% of patients who didn’t vape
  • The risk for dental decay was likely due to the vape liquid which contained sugar and was sticky, adhering to teeth
  • Mouth microbiomes became more prone to bacteria that caused decay
  • Decay appeared in unusual areas such as the bottom edges of front teeth
  • In addition to the liquid, the vapor from vaping promoted harmful mouth bacteria
  • The bacteria were increasingly aggressive and able to survive under harsher conditions
  • E-liquids were also harmful for the gums, similar to how tobacco affects gums

Other negative effects from e-cigarettes exist for health in general. Not only are they addictive, they also cause respiratory and cardiac illness.

What do dentists recommend to counteract vaping effects?

A regular habit of brushing and flossing helps protect teeth. Also prescription-strength fluoride toothpaste, rinse and fluoride treatments are good preventative measures. Another suggestion was to get checkups more than twice a year.

(Reference: US News)

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