Published on: 17/02/2023
All you need to know about the impact of e-cig on oral health
The damage caused by smoking traditional cigarettes to teeth, gums and oral mucous membranes has been known for many years: tobacco workers face yellowing of enamel and increased incidence of numerous pathologies, some of which pose a serious danger to people. Just think of mouth cancer that affects almost 5,000 Italians every year.
But what can we say about e-cigarettes and their impact on oral health?
Do they pose an equally formidable danger or can their use as a substitute for cigarettes guarantee a reduction in the incidence of mouth diseases?
Let us give a definitive answer to this question.
Why electronic cigarettes do not cause yellowing of teeth
To answer this question, it is necessary to briefly explain what causes the yellowing of teeth caused by traditional cigarettes.
The combustion process to which cigarettes are subjected produces thousands of chemicals that are harmful to health, many of which are carcinogenic. Several of these, in particular tar, have a rather unpleasant characteristic: they tend to fix on the surface of the teeth and accumulate forming a yellowish patina.
But that’s not all.
The formation of this patina encourages the appearance of plaque and, if it is not properly removed, even tartar. The latter is characterized by a brown color and helps to make the stains caused by cigarette smoke even more unpleasant to the eye.
What about the e-cigs?
Electronic cigarettes, unlike traditional cigarettes, emit ‘smoke’ (more correctly steam) without combustion. As a result, they do not produce all the substances responsible for the yellowing of teeth in tobacco growers.
However, it should be noted that some e-cig liquids can cause the appearance of small stains in the teeth, especially in the incisors, those most exposed to steam during vaping. Fortunately, these patches can be easily removed by rubbing them away gently because, unlike those caused by tar, they do not adhere tenaciously to the enamel.
Electronic cigarettes and oral health: what is the opinion of science?
Okay, the electronic cigarette does not contribute to the yellowing of teeth, but what do we know about its possible harmful effects on the health of the oral cavity?
For intellectual honesty it is appropriate to make a clarification: on average, the oral health of an individual who does not vape and does not smoke is better than that of a vaper. It is normal: as we have already explained in many other articles, the electronic cigarette should only be considered as a less harmful alternative to the cigarrettes.
For this reason, the topic of oral health must be addressed by comparing smoking with vaping.
It is known that traditional cigarettes increase the incidence of numerous pathologies, such as gingivitis, periodontitis (or pyorrhea) and candidiasis.
What can we say about e-cigs?
To tell the truth, vaping devices also increase the risk of oral diseases, but, according to several studies, they do so significantly less than traditional cigarettes.
Let’s briefly analyze one of these research in the next paragraph.
The results of one of the many studies that compared e-cig with traditional cigarettes
In 2016, Medicine published a study conducted by a team of Italian researchers composed of members of various public and private institutions, including the University of Bari.
It was set as follows: over the course of 4 months, the oral health of a group of 350 former smokers who were supplied with electronic cigarettes was constantly monitored. The subjects examined had to follow a series of rules imposed by the researchers, including:
practice the same oral hygiene measures as when they smoked;
to abstain completely from traditional cigarettes.
At the end of the research a sharp decrease in the yellowing of teeth was noted: an obvious consequence of the change in habits of the subjects, given the considerations we made in the first part of the article.
But the most interesting data obtained by the researchers concerns the drastic decrease in symptoms of inflammation, such as gingival bleeding, and the reduction of plaque and tartar, among the main causes of the appearance of different pathologies of the teeth. As a result, we can conclude that e-cigarettes have a much lower impact on oral health than traditional cigarettes.
In this article we examined the impact of the electronic cigarette on the health of the oral cavity.
Of course, those who do not smoke and vape run less health risks than vapers. However, we decided to compare e-cigs with traditional cigarettes: on the other hand, vaping was born and spread as a less harmful alternative than smoking.
Based on this consideration, we found that e-cigs do not yell teeth and are less harmful than cigarettes to oral health. And these claims are supported by numerous scientific studies including that reported in the previous paragraph.
Are you a smoker trying to quit? Or are you a vaper that is benefiting from the advantages of the e-cigarette as an alternative to tobacco?