Oral health practices and self-reported adverse effects of E-cigarette use among dental students in 11 countries: an online survey

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Alhajj M. N. , Al-Maweri S. A. , Folayan M. O. , Halboub E., Khader Y., Omar R., ...More

BMC ORAL HEALTH, vol.22, no.1, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 22 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s12903-022-02053-0
  • Journal Name: BMC ORAL HEALTH
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: E-cigarette, Smoking, Dental students, Oral health, General health, Survey, ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES, ASSOCIATION, KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDES, NICOTINE, SMOKING, IMMUNE, ADULTS


Objectives E-cigarette use has become popular, particularly among the youth. Its use is associated with harmful general and oral health consequences. This survey aimed to assess self-reported oral hygiene practices, oral and general health events, and changes in physiological functions (including physical status, smell, taste, breathing, appetite, etc.) due to E-cigarette use among dental students. Methods This online, multicounty survey involved undergraduate dental students from 20 dental schools across 11 different countries. The questionnaire included demographic characteristics, E-cigarette practices, self-reported complaints, and associated physiological changes due to E-cigarette smoking. Data were descriptively presented as frequencies and percentages. A Chi-square test was used to assess the potential associations between the study group and sub-groups with the different factors. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS at P < 0.05. Results Most respondents reported regular brushing of their teeth, whereas only 70% used additional oral hygiene aids. Reported frequencies of complaints ranged from as low as 3.3% for tongue inflammation to as high as 53.3% for headache, with significant differences between E-cigarette users and non-users. Compared to non-smokers, E-cigarette users reported significantly higher prevalence of dry mouth (33.1% vs. 23.4%; P < 0.001), black tongue (5.9% vs. 2.8%; P = 0.002), and heart palpitation (26.3%% vs. 22.8%; P = 0.001). Although two-thirds of the sample reported no change in their physiological functions, E-cigarette users reported significant improvement in their physiological functions compared to never smokers or tobacco users. Conclusion Dental students showed good oral hygiene practices, but E-cigarette users showed a higher prevalence of health complications.