E-cigarettes are becoming popular because many consider them safer than cigarettes. Our research has shown that cigarettes increase the risk for several oral diseases, such as gum disease, cancer and cavities, by causing pathogenic bacteria to colonize the mouth. Others have shown that nicotine may be similarly harmful; however, the evidence is unclear. Since the main component of e-cigarettes is nicotine, this project will explore the effects of e-cigarettes on the oral cavity and see if they are similar to cigarettes with respect to colonization of pathogenic bacteria. This will improve our understanding of the risks associated with the use of e-cigarettes.
Purnima Kumar, BDS, MDS, PhD
Associate Professor, College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University