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expert reaction to study looking at smoking, vaping and oral health

A study published in JAMA Network Open looks at tobacco use and incidence of adverse oral health outcomes among US adults.


Dr Richard Holliday, Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Restorative Dentistry, and Specialist in Periodontics, Newcastle University, said:

“This is a well conducted study from a respected collaboration of researchers.

“The study reinforces the well-known association between cigarette smoking, gum disease and tooth loss.

“They also reported an association between e-cigarette use and self-reported bleeding gums after brushing or flossing. The study authors themselves urge caution on over-interpreting this finding (see discussion section) – this may not be a direct effect of e-cigarette use and may be a result of users reducing or quitting regular cigarette smoking which is known to lead to increased bleeding. It’s an interesting finding that needs exploring in further research.  

“The study did not find any association between e-cigarette use and any other oral health outcomes investigated (such as gum disease or tooth loss). As proposed in this paper, further follow up studies looking at the longer-term outcomes of e-cigarettes will be useful to explore this further.”



‘Tobacco Use and Incidence of Adverse Oral Health Outcomes Among US Adults in the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study’ by Marushka L. Silveira et al. was published in JAMA Network Open at 4pm UK time on Friday 9 December.

DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.45909



Declared interests

Dr Richard Holliday: “No conflicts.”


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