Is your Vape Causing Cavities?

New research from Tufts University finds people who use vape products are more likely to develop dental decay. The CDC finds 9.1 million adults, and 2 million use tobacco-based vaping products, that puts a lot of teeth at risk!

Over the last few years, public awareness has increased about the dangers of vaping to systemic health — particularly after the use of vaping devices was tied to lung disease. Some dental research has shown ties between e-cigarette use and increased markers for gum disease, and damage to the tooth’s enamel. But relatively little emphasis has been placed on the intersection between e-cigarette use and oral health, even by dentists.

In the study, though the vast majority of patients said they did not use vape products, there was a statistically significant difference in dental caries risk levels between the e-cigarette/vaping group and the control group. Some 79% of the vaping patients were categorized as having high-caries risk, compared to just about 60% of the control group. The vaping patients were not asked whether they used devices that contained nicotine or THC, although nicotine is more common.

One reason why e-cigarette use could contribute to a high risk of cavities is the sugary content and viscosity of vaping liquid, which, when aerosolized and then inhaled through the mouth, sticks to the teeth – similar to sugary drinks and candy.

Vaping aerosols have been shown to change the oral microbiome making it more hospitable to decay-causing bacteria. It’s also been observed that vaping seems to encourage decay in areas where it usually doesn’t occur — such as the bottom edges of front teeth. It takes an aesthetic toll.