A team of scientists has analyzed the oral bacteria of e-cigarette smokers (vapers) and warned that the mouth of these young people is full of microorganisms capable of causing all kinds of diseases, from gum infections to cancer, a finding that casts doubt on the claim that these cigars are safe.
The study found that, although they did not yet have an active disease, the composition of the oral bacteria of these smokers was similar to that of people with periodontitis, an infection of the gums that can lead to tooth loss and that, if not it is, can cause heart and lung diseases.
The research, published today in the journal Science Advances, was done with dental plaque samples from the gums of 123 healthy people: 25 tobacco smokers, 25 non-smokers, 20 vapers, 25 exvapers, and 28 people with the habit of smoking. tobacco and vaping at the same time.
In the study, researchers observed detrimental effects on nicotine and non-nicotine e-cigarettes, leading them to believe that heated and pressurized liquids from the cartridges of these devices are likely the cause of the vapers’ mouths becoming cozy home for a dangerous combination of microbes.
“Vaping is a huge assault on the oral environment that also occurs dramatically and in a short period of time,” concludes Purnima Kumar, a researcher at Ohio State University and lead author of the study.
Plaque bacteria are the last line of defense against oral diseases because they are difficult to be altered by environmental changes such as food, toothpaste, or tobacco.
To do the study, Kumar and his team sequenced the genome of these bacteria to identify not only the types of microbes that live in those mouths, but also their functions.
The profile of the oral microbiome in vapers who had never smoked, who were young (21 to 35 years old) and healthy and who had used e-cigarettes for four to 12 months, surprised the researchers.
The most worrisome characteristics were the stress levels in the microbial community, which were detected by the activation of genes that contribute to the creation of a slime layer similar to the mucus that surrounds the bacterial communities.
And is that the immune system is used to clearly defined bacteria, but vaping changes the microbial landscape and the immune system interprets it as an alarm that produces inflammation that exponentially increases the probability of disease.
“The reason we are all healthy is because our immune systems recognize these bacteria and their functions from birth” but when you change their environmental environment with e-cigarettes, “your immune system no longer recognizes bacteria as friends” and That “causes a huge inflammatory response,” says Kumar.