Vaping linked to ‘significantly higher risk of developing dental decay

Fitness & Health:

Vaping is likely to leave you with some nasty dental problems, a new study has suggested. The research, published on Wednesday, found that people who vape are more likely to develop “dental caries” – which in serious cases may require teeth to be pulled out.

Dental caries, also known as dental cavities, are permanently damaged areas of your teeth that soon turn into holes.

Researchers found that 79 percent of the people who visited their dental clinic and admitted to vaping were at high risk of caries.

Caries risk is the likelihood of patients developing new holes in their teeth. People considered to have high risk are those that already have several holes in their teeth.


“This research found that on examining patient records, individuals who reported e-cigarette/vape use had a significantly higher risk of developing dental decay in comparison to those who did not use vapes/e-cigarettes,” Karina Irusa, lead author of the study and assistant professor at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, said.

The study looked at more than 13,000 dental patients who visited the dental clinic at Tufts. Of the people looked at, 91 admitted to using e-cigarettes.

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Roughly 7 percent of people in the UK are thought to vape, according to a range of surveys, the Government website states. That’s the equivalent of over three million people.

The study was published in The Journal of the American Dental Association. Karina Irusa, lead author of the study and assistant professor said: “It’s important to understand this is preliminary data.

“This is not 100% conclusive, but people do need to be aware of what we’re seeing.”

Vapes use battery power as a source of heat to turn manufactured liquid into an aerosol that can be inhaled. The liquids are often sugary and have a sticky, thick consistency, which could be responsible for the link between cavities and vaping.

When the liquid is heated up to turn into an aerosol and inhaled, it may pass over the teeth and stick to them. One 2018 study published in the journal PLOS One likened the properties of e-cigarettes to acidic drinks.


Irusa said the researchers are “currently in the process” of getting funding to look into the underlying causes between vaping and tooth decay.

Aside from possible tooth decay, there are a few other health problems that might be caused by vaping.

But research into the safety of vaping is “relatively new”, explains the NHS.

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Many vape liquids, but not all, contain nicotine – which has many well-understood links to poor health.

Nicotine is bad for your heart and lungs. The substance is highly addictive and can cause an increase in blood pressure, heart rate, and a narrowing of your arteries, explains the American Heart Association.

It is also thought to possibly contribute to hardened artery walls, which can lead to a heart attack.

However, vaping is often used as a replacement for traditional smoking. There are several advantages to doing so.

NHS Inform states: “The health benefit comes from stopping smoking, not using an e-cigarette. It will be some time until studies will show the long-term impact and any unforeseen risks of using e-cigarettes. More is known about the safety and effectiveness of other stop smoking medications.”

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