Washington D.C [US] Nov. 17 : According to a recent research published in the Target journal, electronic cigarettes are equally damaging to gums and teeth as conventional cigarettes.
Led by Irfan Rahman, it is claimed to be the first scientific study to address e-cigarettes and their detrimental effect on oral health on cellular and molecular levels.
Electronic cigarettes are often perceived as a healthier alternative to conventional cigarettes. In previous researches, scientists thought that the chemicals found in cigarette smoke were the culprits behind adverse health effects, but a growing body of scientific data, including this study, suggests otherwise.
"We showed that when the vapors from an e-cigarette are burned, it causes cells to release inflammatory proteins, which in turn aggravate stress within cells, resulting in damage that could lead to various oral diseases," explained Rahman.
"How much and how often someone is smoking e-cigarettes will determine the extent of damage to the gums and oral cavity," he added.
The study, which exposed 3-D human, non-smoker gum tissue to the vapors of e-cigarettes, also found that the flavoring chemicals play a role in damaging cells in the mouth.
"We learned that the flavorings-some more than others--made the damage to the cells even worse. It's important to remember that e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is known to contribute to gum disease" added another researcher.
Most e-cigarettes contain a battery, a heating device, and a cartridge to hold liquid, which typically contains nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals.
The battery-powered device heats the liquid in the cartridge into an aerosol that the user inhales. "More research, including long term and comparative studies, are needed to better understand the health effects of e-cigarettes," added Rahman.