A recent study done to examine the connection between vaping and oral health yielded frightening results. The study, which was later published in the journal of Science Advances, determined that even healthy individuals can potentially greatly damage their oral health after only a few months of vaping, according to Swarajya.
Researchers examined the mouths of regular e-cigarette users and found all sorts of concerning bacteria that should not be there. This bacteria can lead to serious side effects in the future, causing everything from tooth decay, tooth loss, gum disease, and gum infections to cancer. In severe cases, one could even suffer from lung or heart disease. From what was determined in this study, it is not the presence of nicotine that is leading to this bacteria. In fact, the bacteria were seen in the mouths of both people who do and who do not vape e-liquid containing nicotine. However, it appears that it is the e-liquid itself that presents a danger.
Study senior author Purnima Kumar from The Ohio State University explained that it doesn’t take years for one’s mouth to exhibit the effects of vaping, rather side effects could occur much sooner.
“Vaping is such a big assault on the oral environment, and the change happens dramatically and over a short period of time. Knowing the vaping profile is pathogen-rich, you’re not doing yourself any favors by using vaping to quit smoking,” she said.
In total, 123 individuals were included in this particular study. Among them, 25 were current smokers, 25 were not smokers, 20 utilized e-cigarettes, 25 were individuals that previously smoked and now use an e-cigarette instead, and finally, 28 of the individuals studied use both traditional cigarettes as well as e-cigarettes.
Kumar was particularly interested in individuals who are healthy aside from having vaped over the duration of four to 12 months. When examining the bacteria communities within their mouths, she found that the bacteria looked to be covered in slime. This is likely a result of the immune system trying to prepare to fight off foreign invaders, which is the bad bacteria found in the e-liquid.
But it’s not just the oral health that can be negatively affected as a result of a vaping habit. It can also make one’s lungs less capable of fighting off viruses. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, this is a cause for concern now more than ever. As The Inquisitr previously reported, there is still evidence that vaping could be tied to an increased risk of serious side effects or death from COVID-19. However, it can weaken one’s lungs, which would make recovery more difficult.