A recent UCLA study has found that e-cigarettes, commonly thought to be a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes, may not be all that much better after all. The study, conducted on cultured cells, found toxic chemicals and nanoparticles that killed roughly 85% of the cells in the study.
The medical community has documented the effects and dangers of regular cigarettes quite well for many years, but the effects of e-cigarettes are largely unknown, especially the effects on the mouth and the oral cavity.
The tests run at UCLA found that the vapor from e-cigarettes weakened the defenses of the cells by decreasing the presence of a vital antioxidant. The researchers believe the chemicals in the vapor could kill the top layer of skin in the mouth, which could dramatically increase the chances of oral disease.
These findings suggest that healthcare providers should raise more awareness about the potential health risks of e-cigarettes.
Dr. Shen Hu, one of the researchers in the study, has said that they will soon be conducting a study of the effects on humans. He says, “A small but significant portion of dental patients at UCLA Dental Clinics have used e-cigarettes, which will provide sufficient patient resources for our planned studies.” The hope isn’t to just document the effects of e-cigarettes, but to find a way to prevent the damage. “Our hope is to develop a screening product to help predict toxicity levels of e-cigarette products so that consumers are better informed.”
If you would like to learn more about the potential dangers of e-cigarettes or want to schedule an examination with Dr. Sarah Frye, contact us in Lexington, North Carolina, today.