- The sticky and sweet substance of e-cigarettes sticks to the teeth after inhalation.
- The liquid also changes the microbiome of the mouth, making it more bacteria friendly
- Comes amid vapedemic in UK and US – with use among teenagers rocketing
A new study warns that people who smoke are at a higher risk of developing cavities in their teeth.
After inhaling, the sticky and sweet ingredients of vaping liquid stick to the teeth, causing all kinds of damage.
The liquid also changes the microbiome of the mouth, making it more hospitable to decay-causing bacteria.
And vaping appears to encourage decay in areas where it doesn’t usually occur, such as the lower edges of the 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 a lot of vulnerable vapes across the country.
The CDC also reports that in 2021, 7.6 percent of 11 to 18-year-olds have used e-cigarettes.
Scientists have warned that people who vape are at a higher risk of developing cavities (stock image)
According to a major study, the average teen vaper starts using e-cigarettes at the age of just 13. An analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers has uncovered the nation’s teen e-cigarette epidemic. The results are based on a fresh analysis of survey data – originally published last month – that included 150,000 responses from US teenagers aged 12 to 18 from 2014 to 2021. This suggests that vape devices have become a gateway to nicotine addiction, with nearly 80 per cent of users saying their first experience was with an e-cigarette. This figure has remained consistent since 2019, and began rising from about 40 percent in 2016.
Chronic pain: Half of dentists say patients come in more for dental appointments on marijuana
According to a shocking survey, half of doctors have been forced to treat a patient who is high on marijuana or other drugs.
The American Dental Association (ADA) said this was due to more states legalizing the drug, warning using it before an appointment ‘may affect treatment’.
Experts said patients coming in at high levels could be ‘stressful’, with nearly half of medics told in a survey that they had to limit medical care to these individuals.
Dr. Tricia Quartey, a New York-based dentist and ADA spokeswoman, suggested that using marijuana before an appointment could make it difficult for patients to make informed choices about their care. Previous research has also suggested that they require more anesthetic because the drug makes them more sensitive to pain.
An ADA survey found that half of medics said high patient rates left them no choice but to ‘limit’ treatment.
Dr Quartey said: ‘Marijuana can increase anxiety, paranoia and hyperactivity, which can make traveling more stressful.
‘It can also increase heart rate and have unwanted respiratory side effects, increasing the risk of using local anesthetics for pain control.’
She added: ‘Furthermore, the best treatment option is always a dentist and patient decision together. It is necessary for him to have a clear mind.
This year, 8.6 per cent of young people between the ages of 11 and 18 in the UK said they smoked occasionally or regularly. This is a jump of four per cent in 2021.
Over the past few years, public awareness of the dangers of vaping to systemic health has grown – particularly after the use of vaping devices was linked to lung disease.
Dr Karina Irusa, assistant professor of comprehensive care at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston, US, and lead author of the study, said: ‘Some dental research has shown an association between e-cigarette use and increased markers for gum disease. Shown, and, separately, damage to tooth enamel, its outer covering.
‘But there has been relatively little emphasis on the intersection between e-cigarette use and oral health, even by dentists.’ The research team analyzed data from more than 13,000 patients over the age of 16 who were treated at Tufts Dental Clinics from 2019-2022.
The team found that while the majority of patients did not use vapes, there was a significant difference in the risk of cavities between those who used them and the control group.
The data showed that 79 per cent of vaping patients were at high risk of suffering from cavities, while around 60 per cent of the control group had the same level of risk.
Vaping patients were not asked whether they used devices that contained nicotine or THC, although nicotine is more common.
The researchers suggest that people who vaccinate should be given more rigorous care to prevent cavities.
This may include prescription-strength fluoride toothpaste and fluoride rinses, in-office fluoride application, and check-ups no more than twice a year.
Dr. Erusa believes that these new findings may be just one indication of the damage to the mouth from vaping.
She said: ‘The extent of impact on dental health, particularly on dental caries, is still relatively unknown. At this point, I am just trying to raise awareness.’ She said: ‘It is important to understand that this is preliminary data.
‘It’s not 100 per cent conclusive, but people need to be aware of what we’re seeing.’
Dr Irusa and his team now want to take a closer look at how saliva affects the microbiology of saliva to advance their research.
She said: ‘Managing dental caries (the dental term for a cavity) takes a lot of time and money, depending on how bad it gets.
‘Once you start the habit, even if you get a filling, you are still at risk of secondary caries as long as you continue. It takes a beauty toll.
‘It’s a vicious cycle that won’t stop.’ A previous study published in the journal PLOS One compared e-cigarettes to sugary sweets and acidic drinks.
It reported: ‘Some e-liquid ingredients interact with the hard tissues of the oral cavity in a way that resembles…
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