E-cigarettes with sweet flavors can increase the risk of cavities, according to the ADA Foundation Volpe Research Center. A study investigating changes in cariogenic potential when tooth surfaces are exposed to certain e-cigarette aerosols in a controlled environment has found that the combination of the viscosity of e-cigarette liquids and some classes of chemicals in sweet flavors contribute to the increased risk.
A systematic evaluation also found that e-cigarette aerosols have similar physio-chemical properties to high-sucrose, gelatinous candies and acidic drinks and interact with hard tissues of the oral cavity in a way that can adversely affect teeth. Among more than 400 available e-liquid brands, 84% offer fruit flavors and 80% offer candy and desert flavors, tobaccofreekids.org reports.
“This study will give dentists further information to help educate patients that using e-cigarettes can have detrimental effects on their mouths,” said Thomas Hart, DDS, PhD, senior director of the ADA Foundation Volpe Research Center.
The study suggests that the complex impact of e-cigarettes on human health goes beyond respiratory and cardiac systems and may have significant implications on oral health.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found that e-cigarette use is not benign despite marketing efforts to make it seem less harmful than combustible tobacco and that it has its own effects on health. FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, has called youth e-cigarette prevention “the most important thing” he can accomplish in his role leading the agency.
The study, “Cariogenic Potential of Sweet Flavors in Electronic-Cigarette Liquids,” was published by PloS One.