People who vape are at higher risk of developing tooth decay, a new study warns.
After you inhale, the sticky and sugary contents of the vape liquid stick to your teeth and cause all the damage.
The liquid also changes the microbiome of the mouth, making it more hospitable to cavity-causing bacteria.
And vaping seems to encourage cavities in areas where they don’t normally occur, like the lower edges of front teeth.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 9.1 million American adults and two million teens use tobacco-based vaping products, which means there are many vulnerable teeth across the country.
The CDC also reported that 7.6 percent of youth ages 11 to 18 used e-cigarettes in 2021.
People who vape are more at risk of developing tooth decay, scientists warn (file image)
The average teenage vaper starts using e-cigarettes at age 13, according to a major study. An analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has exposed the nation’s teen e-cigarette epidemic. The results are based on a new analysis of survey data, originally published last month, that involved 150,000 responses from US adolescents ages 12 to 18 from 2014 to 2021. It suggests that vaping devices have become the gateway to nicotine addiction, with nearly 80 percent of users saying their first experience was with e-cigarettes. This figure has remained constant since 2019 and began to rise from around 40 percent in 2016.
Chronic Pain: HALF of Dentists Say Patients Show Up to Dental Appointments High on Marijuana
Half of all doctors have been forced to treat a high patient with marijuana or other drugs, according to an impact survey.
The American Dental Association (ADA) said it was because more states legalized the drug and warned that using it before an appointment “may affect treatment.”
Experts said patients who arrived drugged may be “stressed out,” and nearly half of doctors in a survey said they had to limit medical care for these people.
Dr. Tricia Quartey, a New York dentist and spokeswoman for the ADA, suggested that using marijuana before an appointment can make it difficult for patients to make informed decisions about their care. Previous research has also suggested that they need more anesthesia because the drug makes them more sensitive to pain.
An ADA survey found that half of doctors said drugged patients left them no choice but to ‘limit’ treatment.
Dr Quartey said: “Marijuana can lead to increased anxiety, paranoia and hyperactivity, which could make the visit more stressful.”
“It can also increase heart rate and have unwanted respiratory side effects, which increases the risk of using local anesthetics for pain control.”
She added: ‘Also, the best treatment options are always the ones that a dentist and the patient decide together. A clear mind is essential for that.’
This year in the UK, 8.6 per cent of 11-18 year olds said they vaped occasionally or regularly. This is a four percent jump in 2021.
In recent years, public awareness of the systemic health dangers of vaping has increased, particularly after the use of vaping devices was linked to lung disease.
Dr. Karina Irusa, an assistant professor of integrative care at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston, USA, and lead author of the study, said: “Some dental research has shown links between cigarette use electronics and an increase in markers of gum disease, and, separately, damages the tooth’s enamel, its outer layer.
“But relatively little emphasis has been placed on the intersection between e-cigarette use and oral health, even by dentists.” The research team analyzed data from more than 13,000 patients ages 16 and older who were treated at Tufts dental clinics between 2019 and 2022.
The team found that while the vast majority of patients did not use vaporizers, there was a significant difference in caries risk between those who used them and the control group.
The data revealed that 79 percent of the vaping patients were at high risk of cavities, while around 60 percent of the control group had a similar level of risk.
Patients who vaped were not asked if they used devices that contained nicotine or THC, although nicotine is more common.
The researchers recommend that people who vape receive much more rigorous care to prevent cavities.
This could include prescription fluoride toothpaste and fluoride rinse, office fluoride applications, and more frequent checkups than twice a year.
Dr. Irusa believes that these new findings may just be an indication of the damage vaping causes in the mouth.
She said: ‘The extent of the effects on dental health, specifically on dental caries, is still relatively unknown. At this point, I’m just trying to raise awareness. She added: ‘It is important to understand that this is preliminary data.
“This is not 100 percent conclusive, but people need to be aware of what we’re seeing.”
Dr. Irusa and her team now want to take a closer look at how vaping affects saliva microbiology to advance their research.
She said: ‘It takes a huge investment of time and money to control dental caries (the dental term for cavities), depending on how severe it is.
‘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 has an aesthetic cost.
‘It’s a vicious circle that won’t stop.’ An earlier study, published in the journal PLOS one, compared e-cigarettes with gummy candies and sour drinks.
He reported: “Certain e-liquid ingredients interact with the hard tissues of the oral cavity in such a way that they resemble high-sucrose sweets and acidic drinks that adversely affect teeth.”
The current study was published in The Journal of the American Dental Association.