A recent paper published in the Journal of Dental Research has detailed findings from The Oral Health Effects of Tobacco Products: Science and Regulatory Policy conference in Maryland in the US.
It found that aside form tobacco product use’s links to oral cancer, periodontal disease and tooth loss, there is an adverse effect on immunity and the oral microbiome.
The conference was timely given the rapidly evolving landscape of tobacco use around the world, particularly in developed nations such as Australia, the UK and the US. While we are seeing the lowest level of adult cigarette use since 1965, there is a simultaneous rise in novel nicotine delivery systems, such as e-cigarettes, for which little is currently known about the long-term health effects.
The goal of the conference was to bring the oral health effects of tobacco products to the attention of regulators, public health professionals, healthcare providers, researchers and ultimately, the public with the hope that the information presented would promote cessation or deter initiation among current or potential tobacco users, respectively.
“Although the adverse effects of conventional tobacco products on various oral health outcomes are well established, much remains unknown about the oral health implication of novel tobacco products such as electronic nicotine delivery systems,” said guest editor Scott Tomar, University of Florida, Gainesville, USA. “There is a great need for research on the clinical and public health effects of these products and their underlying mechanisms, and an urgent need for behavioural and regulatory science research around conventional and novel tobacco products.”