How Vaping Can Ruin Your Smile

Researchers examined data from more than 13,000 patients over the age of 16 who were treated at Tufts dentistry clinics between 2019 and 2022. Afterwards, they put together a study on how vaping can ruin your smile.

How Vaping Can Ruin Your Smile

A recent study cautions that vaping may damage someone is smile by raising the risk of acquiring dental cavities.

After inhalation, the sticky and sweet components of the vaping liquid adhere to the teeth, inflicting all the damage, according to Tufts University researchers. Additionally, the liquid alters the mouth’s microbiome, making germs that cause decay more likely to flourish there.

Additionally, vaping seems to promote decay in places where it normally doesn’t, including the bottom edges of front teeth.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 9.1 million American adults and two million teenagers use tobacco-based vaping products, indicating that there are many susceptible teeth across the nation. According to the CDC, 7.6 percent of 11 to 18-year-olds smoked e-cigarettes in 2021.

According to the researchers, public awareness of the dangers of vaping has grown in recent years, particularly after studies linked vaping devices to the development of lung illness.

According to Dr. Karina Irusa, an assistant professor of comprehensive care at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, e-cigarette usage is linked to an increase in gum disease symptoms as well as harm to the tooth’s enamel, which is its outer layer.

Despite this, the current study found that there has been little emphasis on the link between e-cigarette usage and dental health, even among dentists. The researchers examined data from more than 13,000 patients over the age of 16 who were treated at Tufts dentistry clinics between 2019 and 2022.

The researchers discovered that, whereas the vast majority of patients did not use vapes, there was a substantial difference in the risk of cavities between those who did and those who did not. According to the results, 79 percent of vaping individuals had a significant risk of cavities, but only about 60 percent of the control group had a similar degree of risk.

Vapers may need constant dental care

The vaping patients were not questioned whether they utilized nicotine or THC-containing devices, despite the fact that nicotine is more common. To avoid cavities, the researchers advise vapers to concentrate more on rigorous dental care. This could involve prescription-strength fluoride toothpaste and fluoride rinse, fluoride treatments in-office, and more frequent check-ups than twice a year.

Dr. Irusa believes that these latest discoveries are only a glimpse of the harm that vaping brings to the mouth.

“The extent of the effects on dental health, specifically on dental decay, are still relatively unknown,” Irusa says in a statement. “At this point, I’m just trying to raise awareness,” among both dentists and patients.

“It’s important to understand this is preliminary data,” the researcher adds. “This is not 100% conclusive, but people do need to be aware of what we’re seeing.”

Dr. Irusa and her colleagues seek to investigate how vaping impacts the microbiology of saliva in order to advance their studies.

“It takes a lot of investment of time and money to manage dental caries, depending on how bad it gets,” Irusa concludes. “Once you’ve started the habit, even if you get fillings, as long as you continue, you’re still at risk of secondary caries. It’s a vicious cycle that will not stop.”

An earlier study, published in the journal PLoS ONE, compared e-cigarettes to gummy candies and acidic beverages.

The report found “certain e-liquid ingredients interact with hard tissues of the oral cavity in such a way that resembles high-sucrose candies and acidic drinks that adversely affect teeth.”

The current research has been published in The Journal of the American Dental Association.

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