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Research Shows Teeth Stained 'Significantly Less' With E-Cigs

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Worried about keeping those pearly whites? Researchers have good news — vaping is not only less harmful than smoking analog cigarettes, but it also doesn’t stain teeth at nearly the rate that smoking does.

While this may seem like an obvious phenomenon, it’s the first time that scientists at British American Tobacco compared an e-cigarette, a tobacco heating product and an analog cigarette, collecting purposeful data on this particular subject. Both e-cigarettes and tobacco heating products registered “significantly less” on a teeth enamel staining comparison than analogs, according to EurekAlert! The results were published in the American Journal of Dentistry.

The BAT scientists went in vitro for the teeth staining study, using enamel blocks cut from bovine incisors. Enamel blocks were incubated with saliva, “to allow the formation of a pellicle layer, a protective protein film that normally forms on teeth.” The for 14 days the enamel blocks were exposed to particulate matter and smoke/vapor for five days. After the samples were assessed before, during and after treatment, color readings were sent to an independent lab for spectrophotometer readings.

Findings, as reported on by EurekAlert!, included:

  • Discoloration of enamel blocks exposed to cigarette smoke was apparent in as little as one day and continued to increase as the concentration of cigarette smoke increased
  • Exposure to vapor from the electronic cigarette or tobacco heating products resulted in little or no color change that was comparable to the untreated controls
  • Data generated from this study clearly shows that the electronic cigarettes and tobacco heating products assessed caused minimal discoloration

Annette Dalrymple, a senior scientist at BAT R&D, told EurekAlert!: "Many studies have postulated that it is the tar in cigarette smoke that stains teeth. We now have a method where we can rapidly assess in the laboratory the level of enamel discoloration by cigarette smoke and vapor from our ECs and THPs. However, further studies are required to understand the long-term effect on teeth staining and oral health when smokers switch to using NGPs."