E-cigarettes, also called vapes, contain potentially harmful chemicals.

  • Although research is emerging, the full implications of how e-cigarettes impact health, particularly oral health, are not yet known.
  • A new cross-sectional study found that the use of e-cigarettes was associated with a higher risk of dental cavities.
  • Although the results are preliminary, the study authors suggest that vaping should be added to dental-medical health questionnaires and included as a factor for increased cavity risk.

Electronic cigarettesTrusted Source, or vapes, are battery-powered devices that use a heat source to produce an aerosol from a liquid. The aerosol produced by an e-cigarette is inhaled into the lungs. Vape liquids are available with or without nicotine and can also contain cannabis-derived compounds.

Estimates indicate that worldwide, 58.1 millionTrusted Source people used vape products in 2018.

E-cigarette aerosol contains potentially harmful substances, including nicotine, heavy metals, and flavorings such as diacetylTrusted Source — a chemical linked to abnormal lung function and lung disease. According to the CDCTrusted Source, more research is needed to understand the health effects of vaping products.

Still, a small 2022 case study with four participants found an association between 3–8 years of e-cigarette use and symptomatic chronic lung disease, including small airway fibrosis and constrictive bronchiolitis. The study authors observed an improvement in symptoms among participants who stopped vaping.

What’s more, recent researchTrusted Source found a link between e-cigarette use and blood vessel damage.

In addition, another 2021 study found that e-cigarette users had different oral microbiomes compared to those who do not smoke or vape. The microbes present in people who vape is associated with periodontitis, a severe gum infection that is also common in smokers of traditional cigarettes.

Now, a new study from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine found an association between vape use and an increased risk of dental caries, commonly known as cavities. Specifically, people who reported using vapes had a higher risk of developing cavities than those who reported no e-cigarette use.

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