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The Oral Health Effects of Tobacco Products: Science And Regulatory Policy

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Tomar, S. Journal of Dental Research (JDR), Advances in Dental Research, Volume 30 Issue 1, October 2019

The “Oral Health Effects of Tobacco Products: Science and Regulatory Policy” meeting, organised by the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) took place on Sept 14, 2018, in Maryland, VA.

The goal of the conference was to generate research and bring the oral health effects of tobacco products to the attention of public health officials, healthcare providers, and regulators.

In September 2019, the International Association of Dental Research (IADR) shared the conference proceedings in five articles that were published in the latest issue of Advances in Dental Research.

Background

Journal of Dental Research (JDR), guest editor, Scott Tomar, from the University of Florida, concluded that “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.”1

Highlights

  • Conference attendees reviewed the impact of tobacco on oral health and presented scientific evidence, highlighting the role and importance of oral health in overall health.
  • Researchers presented data related to the impact of tobacco on immunity and the oral microbiome.
  • The conference centered around five distinct sessions that were focused on FDA regulated tobacco products and topics:
  1. Perspectives on Tobacco Regulatory Policy
  2. Combusted Tobacco (Inhaled and non-inhaled)
  3. Products, Non-combusted Tobacco (Smokeless Tobacco)
  4. Novel Nicotine Delivery Systems and In VitroModel,
  5. Standards and Experimental Methods

Clinical relevance

  • Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and oral cancer have been linked to tobacco use.
  • The oral cavity is the first part of the body that is exposed to tobacco products and, consequently, the mouth is often the site of carcinogenic, microbial, immunologic, and clinical effects of tobacco use.
  • While cigarette use in the US is at its lowest levels since 1965, data presented address the recent arrival and uptake of e-cigarettes and so-called next-generation products (NGPs), including electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).
  • ENDS are changing tobacco use practices.
  • ENDS are available in various forms, contain a heating element and power source, and a cartridge that holds a liquid mixture of nicotine and flavouring in a glycerol–propylene glycol vehicle.
  • At this time, the long-term health effects and health implications of e-cigarettes and ENDS are unknown.
  • According to the publication, Novel Nicotine Delivery Systems, “emerging evidence from subjects with periodontitis and periodontally healthy subjects demonstrates that e-cigarette use may be associated with a compositional and functional shift in the oral microbiome with an increase in opportunistic pathogens and virulence traits.”2 (pg.11)

Looking ahead

As indicated by the guest editor in the IADR press release “Without significant knowledge of the oral sequelae of products such as electronic cigarettes, researchers must evaluate current in vitro and in vivo methods to study these agents, as well as develop new tools to adequately study their effects.”

Sources

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Until next time!

CDA Oasis Team

References

[1] International Association for Dental Research. Oral health effects of tobacco products: science and regulatory policy proceedings published in Advances in Dental Research [press release] (2019 Sept 20) [cited 2019 Oct 31]. Available from: http://www.iadr.org/IADR/About-Us/News/ArtMID/132983/ArticleID/743/Oral-Health-Effects-of-Tobacco-Products-Science-and-Regulatory-Policy-Proceedings-Published-in-Advances-in-Dental-Research

[2] Kumar PS, Clark P, Brinkman MC, Saxena D. Novel Nicotine Delivery Systems. Adv Dent Res. 2019; 30(1):11-15.  

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