The oral health impact of electronic cigarette use: a systematic review

Crit Rev Toxicol. 2020 Feb;50(2):97-127. doi: 10.1080/10408444.2020.1713726. Epub 2020 Feb 11.


Introduction: Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use is becoming more prevalent and is particularly popular among adolescents and conventional smokers. While the oral health sequelae of conventional smoking are well-established, the impact of e-cigarettes on oral health is still unknown. This study aims to systematically review the available research evidence on the oral health impact of e-cigarette use.Methods: This systematic review was conducted according to PRISMA guidelines and used the Effective Public Health Practice Project Quality Assessment Tool to evaluate the evidence. Three electronic databases (PubMed, Web of Science, and Embase) were systematically searched for studies including case reports. Two independent reviewers extracted data and synthesized the findings.Results: Ninety-nine articles were included in this systematic review. Analyses of the articles yielded seven categories based on symptom similarity and/or focus: mouth effects, throat effects, periodontal effects, dental effects, cytotoxic/genotoxic/oncologic effects, oral microbiome effects, and traumatic/accidental injury. The majority of mouth and throat symptoms experienced by e-cigarette users were relatively minor and temporary, with some evidence that conventional smokers who switched to e-cigarettes experienced mitigation of these symptoms. E-cigarette exposure increased the risk for deteriorating periodontal, dental and gingival health as well as changes to the oral microbiome. Extensive dental damage as a result of e-cigarette explosions were described in case reports. Components of e-cigarette vapor have known cytotoxic, genotoxic, and carcinogenic properties.Conclusions: Although switching to e-cigarettes may mitigate oral symptomatology for conventional smokers, findings from this review suggest that a wide range of oral health sequelae may be associated with e-cigarette use. Well-designed studies to investigate oral health outcomes of e-cigarette use are needed.

Keywords: ENDS; e-cigarettes; oral health; systematic review; vaping.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems*
  • Humans
  • Oral Health*
  • Smokers
  • Smoking
  • Vaping / trends*