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E-Cigarette Side Effects/Complications

I recently saw a patient that has started to use E-cig as a way of quitting smoking…..she presented with increased pocket depths in her max teeth. Tissue and teeth were much more sensitive as well. No bleeding or exudate, but a 2-4 mm change in some teeth. She doesn’t have the best home care…will not floss. She does come regularly for her perio recare appointments and this change was not normal for her. The only thing that I can find in her routine that was different was the E-Cig. I’m not overly familiar with these. I know of them and understand how they work, but haven’t seen/heard of how they are effecting oral conditions. Has anybody else experienced this with patients using E-Cig? Any suggestions/advice? Convincered her to get a waterpik to help with homecare. She did state that she’s able to inhale and hold it in her mouth longer than she did with traditional cigarettes. Any thoughts? Suggestions?



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1 Answer

Currently, there just isn’t much research on E-Cigs to give a good, definitive answer to this! Both E-Cigs and cigarettes contain nicotine, which is a vasoconstrictor (this leads to lowered immune response). Unlike cigarettes, E-Cigs don’t contain “tobacco” and don’t “combust” which releases carcinogens. Off the top of my head, I’d assume homecare is an issue with your patient not so much whether she’s using an E-Cig or cigarettes. Or perhaps she’s using the E-Cig more than she otherwise would smoke and the related xerostomia is effecting her tissues. Here are a few links to help you familiarize with E-Cigs:

http://www.asdablog.com/how-e-cigarettes-and-hookah-pens-impact-our-oral-health/

http://www.dentistryiq.com/articles/2013/06/health-effects-of-e-cigarettes.html

http://www.vaca-kirbydental.com/e-cigs-affect-teeth/

http://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2014-archive/september/nidcr-proposes-ecigarette-research

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