What’s the latest bad news about electronic or e-cigarettes and oral health risks? PLENTY!
A recent University of Rochester Medical Center study released on November 16, 2016 and touted by www.sciencedaily.com and www.webmd.com, suggests that e-cigarettes are as equally damaging to gums and teeth as conventional tobacco cigarettes. The first scientific study to address e-cigarettes and their detrimental effect on oral health, on cellular and molecular levels, was led by Irfan Rahman, Ph.D., professor of Environmental Medicine at the UR School of Medicine and Dentistry and published in Oncotarget. Dr. Rahman emphasizes, "How much and how often someone is smoking e-cigarettes will determine the extent of damage to the gums and oral cavity."
The growing use and popularity of e-cigarettes among young adults and teenagers is due to the perception that they are a healthier and safer alternative to traditional cigarettes and less expensive chewing tobacco. NOT TRUE! This important study found that e-cigarette nicotine oil flavoring chemicals and the vapors inhaled by the smoker release dangerous chemicals, toxins and inflammatory proteins that can cause a cellular reaction and damage the gums and oral cavity. Exposing your healthy mouth and gums to dangerous e-cigarette risks could play a significant role in poor oral health, leading to periodontal or gum disease or even worse – oral cancer.
According to United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States and is responsible for 480,000 deaths each year. Smoking also is considered a significant risk factor specifically in oral cancer, which sees 48,250 new diagnoses and 9,575 deaths each year, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation.
The American Dental Association (ADA) reports that any type of smoking presents a multitude of risks to oral health including stained teeth, dulled taste and smell, slow healing following tooth extractions and other surgery, difficulties in correcting cosmetic dental problems, and gum disease.
E-cigarettes have only been readily available in the United States since 2006, so up until now, there was limited research on their health risks. Scientists have studied and proven that the correlation between tobacco and the chemicals found in cigarette smoke can be a contributing factor of lung, oral and throat cancers.
Because of these potential health risks, the FDA started regulating tobacco and e-cigarette products, on August 8, 2016 and has not approved e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking. According to www.dentistrytoday.com, the FDA also finalized a rule that extends its authority to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, hookah tobacco, and pipe tobacco, helping implement the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009, allowing the FDA to restrict the sale of alternative products, such as e-cigarettes, to minors, nationwide.
As an oral fitness expert, I urge you to make every effort to STOP the use of e-cigarettes and any tobacco product, TODAY.