If you aren’t already diligently brushing and flossing your teeth every day, your Juuling habit could have serious consequences for your mouth.
Nearly one in 20 us adults now uses e-cigarettes, and more than half are under 35 years old, studies show. Thorn Yang/Pexels
You might already know that vaping comes with many health risks, including an increased risk for having a seizure or developing heart disease. But that list of health issues just keeps growing. New York periodontist Scott Froum, D.D.S. started noticing a troubling trend among his patients — those who used e-cigarettes (aka vaporizers) experienced significant tooth decay.
“We began seeing [the tooth decay], but didn’t realize what it was from,” Froum says. “We had been noticing it in teens that weren’t at risk and then attributing it to other things like Monster Energy-type drinks. We never realized that vaping could also be a cause.”
What the research says about how vaping harms your teeth
Anecdotal stories don’t definitively prove vaping makes your teeth rot, but they shouldn’t be dismissed outright either. Most experts agree that although e-cigarettes generally contain fewer toxins than tobacco cigarettes, that doesn’t mean they’re harmless. And after reviewing the evidence on how propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and nicotine — the three most common ingredients in e-cigarettes — can affect oral health, Froum thinks there’s cause for concern.
Propylene glycol, a liquid alcohol that’s often used in food processing because of its ability to mix well with flavoring ingredients, can lead to dry mouth, which (when chronic) can cause cavities and gum disease. PG also breaks down into acetic acid, lactic acid and propionaldehyde — all of which are known to deteriorate tooth enamel and soft tissues.
Research also shows that when teeth are exposed to vaping aerosol that contains a mix of vegetable glycerin and flavorings, they carry four times more bacteria than teeth that haven’t been exposed.
The FDA is cracking down on Juul’s marketing practices and appeal to teens.Eva Hambach/AFP/Getty Images
And what the research doesn’t say
Given the explosion of e-cigarette use, especially among kids — it increased 78% among high school students and 49% among middle school students between 2017 and 2018, according to the CDC — the FDA asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) to report on the potential public health consequences.
Unfortunately, when it comes to oral health, NASEM researchers were unable to find any epidemiological studies examining the link between e-cigarette use and periodontal disease. And the clinical and in vitro studies that did exist only provided “limited evidence” that e-cigarette aerosol can cause cell damage in oral tissue.
Juul devices can be easily concealed, one reason experts believe use has skyrocketed among middle and high school students. – truthinitiative.org