Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) and Their Relevance in Oral Health

Toxics. 2019 Dec 6;7(4):61. doi: 10.3390/toxics7040061.


The number and popularity of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and especially e-cigarettes (e-cigs) have been increasing in the last decade. Although ENDS owe their popularity to excluding the harmful chemicals that are present in tobacco smoke, there is a debate whether they are safe, regulated, and as harmless as they are assumed to be and have potential unknown long-term effects. Involvement of cigarette smoking to the progression of periodontal diseases, other adverse oral health outcomes, and its detrimental effects to oral health are well-described. ENDS producer companies claim that these products can improve oral health by providing alternatives to smoking. However, the effect of e-cigs on oral health is not fully understood and is still debated among many scientists and clinicians. The number of studies addressing the potential toxic effect of ENDS or e-cig aerosol on oral cells is limited along with the clinical studies which are still preliminary, and their sample size is limited. The long-term effects of inhaled aerosols and the potential synergistic effect of the e-cigs components are not known. It is essential and of utmost importance to determine whether exposure to ENDS aerosol contributes to the progression of periodontal diseases and how it affects periodontal ligament and gingival cells which are believed to be its first targets. This review briefly summarizes the available evidence about the effects of e-cigs on periodontal health including several pathophysiological events, such as oxidative stress, DNA damage, inflammation, cellular senescence, dysregulated repair, and periodontal diseases.

Keywords: electronic cigarettes; oral health; periodontal disease; periodontal health; smoking; vaping.

Publication types

  • Review