(ORDO NEWS) — Smoking “electronic cigarettes” spread faster than doctors managed to assess their danger. Only gradually there are indications that vaping quickly causes breathing problems and can lead to the development of lipoid pneumonia. The authors of the new work evaluated the risks that this bad habit creates for the oral cavity. The results of the study are presented in an article published in the journal Science Advances.
Ohio State College of Dentistry Professor Purnima Kumar and colleagues collected scrapings from volunteers: 25 regular cigarette smokers; 25 smokers who switched to electronic; 28 people using both of them; 20 vapers and finally 25 never smoked. Scientists analyzed the activity of the genes of bacteria living in their oral cavity.
It was found that in vapers, microbes are in a state of severe stress and actively express more than 280 genes. This condition stimulates the bacteria to form dense biofilms, contributing to their survival, as well as the development of diseases of the teeth and gums in their hosts. The authors attribute this action to glycerin and propylene glycol, on the basis of which vape liquids are made.
According to them, the development of radical changes in the microflora of the mouth requires only three to 12 months – less than what happens when smoking cigarettes, changing the diet, or even using antibiotics. Changes in microflora are also felt by the body: Kumar and his co-authors have shown that smokers and vapers have increased amounts of cytokines – signaling molecules that indicate the development of inflammatory processes.
Curiously, the set of cytokines in smokers and vapers was different. Scientists believe that for this reason, the diseases caused by electronic cigarettes can be very different from the set that is typical for “traditional” smokers. What these diseases will turn out to be remains to be seen.
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