Study shows link between vaping and an increased risk of caries

6 December 2022

A study from the Journal of the American Dental Association has used patient records of 13,098 people who attended dental school clinics over a three-year period to demonstrate a link between vaping and an increased risk of caries and periodontal disease.

The cross-sectional study, which sought to add to the limited data available on possible links between vaping and caries & periodontal disease, found there was “a statistically significant difference (P < .001) in caries risk levels between the e-cigarette or vape group and the control group.”

Practically speaking, the finding led to a recommendation that use of e-cigarettes or vapes should both be included in standard dental-medical history questionnaires but also be considered “among the risk factors that increase a patient’s caries risk level.”

Quoted in an ABC News report on the study, study lead Karina Irusa from Tufts University "says it's not possible to say that vaping definitely causes tooth cavities, but there's a likely association between the two."

"'We stumbled upon this [potential link] by accident, and then the more we learned about it, the more we thought, 'OK, this could be a bad thing.'"

The study provides additional key data on the link between vaping/use of e-cigarettes and an elevated risk of developing caries and periodontal disease which was lacking due to the fact that use of these products was deemed to be safer than traditional cigarettes.

With this increasingly recognised as not being the case, the study noted that “Patients who engage in e-cigarette or vape use may benefit from a more rigorous caries management protocol” while also observing that additional longitudinal assessment would be a recommended way to continue the work of the study.

To read more about the study, go to “A comparison of the caries risk between patients who use vapes or electronic cigarettes and those who do not: A cross-sectional study”