Research published by British American Tobacco looked at the discoloration associated with smoking and vaping and concluded that vaping isn’t a risk factor
At this years American Association for Dental Research conference, a new study was presented by researchers from BAT. They were testing the difference between traditional cigarette smoke and their new Heat not Burn device called Glo. While this study was aimed at promoting their own device, it’s helping prove that vaping doesn’t cause any of the teeth discoloration usually associated with smoking. They hoped to show that vaping is a viable alternative for smokers wishing to avoid embarrassment as well as improve their overall oral health.
The BAT researchers used cow teeth that were kept coated in human saliva at body temperature to create realistic conditions. They then exposed both sets of teeth to either cigarette smoke or e-liquid vapor over a two week period. While the teeth exposed to traditional cigarette smoke showed signs of discoloration almost immediately, the vapor exposed teeth didn’t show even minor signs of vaping related change after the two-week trial. The researchers believe the lack of tar in vapor caused the difference compared with traditional smoke.
One of the lead researchers presenting the study said, “after the first day, the teeth exposed to the smoke extract started to change color and over the course of 14 days, these teeth got darker and darker in color. Even with the naked eye, the color changes with the cigarette extract could be easily seen after one day. In contrast to teeth exposed to smoke those exposed to e-cigarette or THP vapor exhibited minimal change in color, similar to untreated teeth.”
Vaping and Oral Health
This isn’t the only piece of research looking into the effect of vaping on oral health. Last October a study was published by researchers from the Oral Hygiene of Calabrodental Clinic in Italy. That study looked into the overall oral health of vapers who had previously made the switch from smoking. They had 110 participants that were then split into two major groups, those who had been smokers for less than ten years and those who had smoked for longer. Both groups were examined at varying points during the trial. After the 120 day study, researchers took their data and observed some interesting patterns.
The most telling results involved the plaque index scores of participants. At the start of the trials, 85% of the less than ten years smoking group had a plaque index score of at least one out of three. The over ten years of smoking group saw 75% of participants score a two out of three, with none qualifying for a 0 plaque score. But by the end of the 120-day study, 92% of the first group and 87% of the second group had improved their oral health enough to obtain a plaque score of 0. The researchers also looked at gum bleeding and found that around 65% of both groups experienced gum bleeding when mildly poked at the beginning of the study. By the end, they reported that 92% of the less than ten-year smokers, and a whopping 98% of the over ten-year smokers experienced no gum bleeding at all when poked in the same manner as before.
Smoking has long been known to be very detrimental to oral health. From simple discoloration to more significant health problems, smoking doesn’t do your mouth any favors. As such, smokers have had to live with or mitigate the harmful effects of cigarette smoking. But thanks to researchers asking the question, we now have proof that vaping doesn’t present the same risks to oral health that smoking does. That’s just another fantastic reason for smokers to attempt to quit cigarettes with e-cigarettes. We already know that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking, so the fact that it doesn’t discolor your teeth or weaken your gums is welcome news. If we truly want to help differentiate tobacco and vaping in the public eye, a great way to start is showing off that vaping doesn’t discolor teeth because it doesn’t contain the harmful tar found in cigarette smoke. Getting the public to understand just how different vaping and smoking are is one of the most significant hurdles we still face in the fight for vaping rights.
Did you know that vaping doesn’t stain your teeth as smoking does? Do you think it’s an important selling point for vaping that it doesn’t adversely affect your oral health? How can we convince more of the public that vaping and smoking are separate habits and should be treated as such? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.