E-cigarettes don’t only taste like candy — they might cause cavities, just like the sugary substances they’re flavored as. New research suggests that vaping might increase a person’s risk of cavities or tooth decay.
Many people who use e-cigarettes do it because they like the flavors they come in. But in order to create those flavors, e-cigarette makers add artificial sweeteners. A small study of patients who came to the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine found there was a significantly higher risk of developing cavities among patients who used e-cigarettes, compared to those who did not.
Dr. Karina Irusa, one of the study’s authors, said the e-liquid used in vape devices might cover teeth in a sticky film that promotes bacterial growth.
“The current hypothesis is that vaping may cause dry mouth, depriving the oral cavity of its ability to self-cleanse through saliva,” Irusa said.
The researchers suggested that people who vape may need specific treatments, such as prescription-strength fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash.
Because vaping is still relatively new, researchers are only starting to understand its effects. Researchers noted that the results of the study are preliminary and limited information exists on how vaping may cause tooth decay. Learn what we know about vape products here.