Experts say vaping offers oral health benefits for the teeth and gums
There may be nothing worse for a smoker than going to the dentist’s office where a rather lengthy lecture is sure to follow about the dangers of smoking on oral health. A single visit only brings back to mind the notion that smoking increases the chances of bleeding gums, yellowing of the teeth, and chronic bad breath. Then there are the dentist’s sermons regarding smoking’s devious relationship with oral cancer, gingivitis, periodontal disease, and even tooth loss.
For smokers in particular, going to the dentist can be pure hell on earth. However, a new study led by Dr. Marco Tatullo of Italy’s Research Institute Tecnologica suggests that switching from smoking to vaping can significantly improve both oral and general health within a very short timeframe. And maybe even result in some positive praise from the family dentist, too.
Vaping and its positive effects on oral health
The Italian study is entitled Crosstalk between oral and general health status in e-smokers and is readily available for review in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health (NCBI). The research team began by soliciting the help of some 350 volunteers who agreed to make the switch from smoking to vaping for at least 120 days.
- The 350 participants were subdivided into two categories.
- Category One consisted of smokers of less than ten years.
- Category Two consisted of smokers of greater than ten years.
- Before, during, and after the 120-day period of transition, certain biomarkers of oral health were scored and evaluated for each participant, including:
- Plaque index levels
- Instances of bleed gums
- Other deviations in oral and general health
- Of the original 350 participants, 110 completed the 120-trail successfully.
- 85 percent of Category One participants began the study with plaque index levels of between 1 and 3. Upon completion of the study, 92 percent exhibited plaque scores of zero.
- 73 percent of Category Two participants began the study with a plaque index level of 2. Upon completion of the study, 87 percent exhibited plaque scores of zero.
- 61 percent of Category One and 65 percent of Category Two participants began the study experiencing issues of bleeding gums.
- Upon completion of the study, 82 percent of Category One and 98 percent of Category Two participants exhibited no signs of bleeding gums whatsoever when poked gently with a dental instrument.
- Using a self-assessment survey, 71 percent of participants in either category rated their general health to be “better” or “quite better” after the 120-trial. 27 percent experienced “no change, and 2 percent claimed that their general health got “worse.”
- 80 percent experienced improvements in taste and smell.
- Another 78 percent witnessed improvements in respiratory and breathing functions.
“In our role of highly experienced physicians in the field of oral medicine, we want to highlight how the switching from combustible to e-cigarette can represent a valid support toward a clear improvement in some specific oral health parameters, leading also to overall benefits toward patients’ wellbeing.”