Vaping and Oral Infections, an Increased Risk

Vaping and Oral Infections

NYU College of Dentistry publishes new research linking vaping and oral infections

For some time, vaping enjoyed a social status as a ‘safer’ alternative to smoking. But that perception has been shattered over the past couple years as numerous health concerns associated with vaping, oral infections, and other health risks have taken center stage.

Recent research from NYU College of Dentistry continued the trend last week, showing that vaping changes the community of bacteria in the mouth — the oral microbiome — in a way that puts users at higher risk of infection than cigarette smokers and nonsmokers.

The new study appears in the open access journal iScience.

The new research assessed the effects of these compounds on the first part of the body that they reach: the mouth. As well as being a route for air to enter the lungs, the mouth is also a gateway for microbes.

Having microbes in the mouth is not necessarily a bad thing. There are trillions of bacteria living in the body — on the skin, in the gut, and in the mouth — where they help us fight infections and digest food.

In this paper, researchers evaluated the effect of vaping on the bacterial community in the mouth, which exists in a delicate balance. Changes to this microbial community can contribute to oral disease.

The researchers compared the oral microbiome of three groups of people: e-cigarette users, cigarette smokers, and nonsmokers. Statistics showed that more than half of former smokers and about 48 percent of current smokers have turned to vaping.

“Given the popularity of vaping, it is critical that we learn more about the effects of e-cigarette aerosols on the oral microbiome and host inflammatory responses in order to better understand the impact of vaping on human health,” explains co-senior author Xin Li, Ph.D.

SOURCE: Medical News Today

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