When it comes to impacting your overall health, no habit has a more negative effect on your body than smoking. In terms of your oral health, smoking greatly increases your risk of developing gum disease, tooth decay, and eventual tooth loss. Additionally, the increased bacteria growth caused by smoking also contributes to perpetual bad breath and discolored teeth.
By now everyone should know that smoking also increases the risk for a number of chronic health problems that include heart attack, stroke, pregnancy complications, and cancer. However, despite the risks associated with smoking, electronic cigarettes, or E-cigarettes, have become incredibly popular, especially among teens and young adults. These battery-powered devices typically deliver nicotine in the form of an aerosol, but the safety of inhaling the aerosol mixtures produced by these devices remains uncertain.
In addition to being smokeless and therefore easier to inhale, one of the biggest selling points for the use of e-cigarettes is the perceived notion that they are safer and healthier to use when compared to traditional tobacco products, especially when it comes to having an impact on the user’s oral health. To determine what impact e-cigarettes use truly has on the body, researchers in New York have received funding to finally determine adverse effects e-cigarette use may have on an individual’s oral health.
Further Research Needed Into E-cigarette Use
According to researchers from the New York University College of Dentistry, which received a four-year $1.6 million grant to begin their study, current research leads them to hypothesize that e-cigarette aerosol mixtures interfere with the mouth’s natural microenvironment, which causes an e-cigarette user to have a higher risk of developing gum disease.
Smoking ranks as a significant risk factor for gum disease, immune-suppression, and damage to the gum tissue and underlying bone structure. In this proposed new study, researchers will examine 120 participants, broken down into 40 nonsmokers, 40 regular smokers who do not use e-cigarettes, and 40 smokers who only use e-cigarettes, to determine what effect the nicotine aerosol produced by e-cigarettes have on gum health.
The research team plans on recruiting and cataloging the individuals in the e-cigarette group by the brands of e-cigarettes they use and how many cartridges they consume a week. Researchers will collect plaque and saliva samples from all of the study participants at the beginning and after six months. After they collect the second sample, researchers will make a comparison to the baseline samples to determine if any significant changes or damages have occurred to the oral microbiome.
To determine how e-cigarette use impacts oral health, the research team plans on designing a 3-D tissue model that mimics the oral microbiome.
The need for this type of research becomes even more pressing as more adults and kids begin using e-cigarettes. A 2014 study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 12.6 percent of adults in the U.S. have tried an e-cigarettes and roughly 3.7 percent use them regularly.
Visit Your West Linn Dentist
If you smoke, it’s imperative that you provide your oral health with the additional attention it requires. Smokers have a higher risk of developing gum disease and dental decay due to the accelerated growth rate of oral bacteria due to smoking. To combat the spread of harmful bacteria in the oral microbiome, smokers need to brush, floss, and rinse more frequently throughout the day. Brushing after every meal and thoroughly in the morning and evening is the first step you should take to protect the long-term health of your teeth and gums.
Smokers also need to schedule more frequent exams and cleanings at their local West Linn Dentistry, such as Roane Family Dental. Our staff of gentle dental hygienists can help protect the health of your teeth by removing plaque deposits from your teeth and below the gum line.
Smoking presents a number of oral problems. Don’t delay in receiving the treatment you need to enjoy a lifetime of better oral health.