A well-known side-effect of conventional tobacco products is a distinct stain on teeth enamel that is difficult and costly to treat. Those using traditional tobacco alternatives like vapes The scientists at British American Tobacco wanted to explore the staining effects of vaporizers and other similar products and found some impressive results.
For the study, the researchers used enamel samples created from bovine incisors. After treating the teeth to develop conditions similarly found in human mouths, separate sample sets were exposed to three different products: traditional cigarettes, vaporizers, and tobacco heating products over 29 days. Using an independent laboratory, coloration data was taken throughout the process using a commercial spectrophotometer. They were then compared against the color of a control group.
Discoloration of the enamel from traditional cigarettes was apparent within only the first day and caused a drastic change overall. Conversely, discoloration effects due to vaping were much slower, and in comparison to the control group, it caused little to no discoloration at the end of the study.
A senior scientist at British American explained that "[t]he data generated from this study clearly shows that the [electronic cigarettes] and [tobacco heating products] assessed caused minimal discoloration..." It is thought that this has to do with the lack of combustion. Overall, this means the vapor is a simpler and cleaner byproduct in comparison to the smoke and tar of traditional tobacco products. The team is planning on continuing research into enamel staining in the much longer term.