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Journal: Helyjon



Abstaining from tobacco smoking may not only improve general health, but also reduce teeth staining and restore teeth whiteness. Compared with conventional cigarettes, E-cigarettes (ECs) and heated tobacco products (HTPs) may offer substantial reduction in exposure to pigmented tar-like compounds of cigarette smoke. It is possible that improvements in dental color indices may be observed in those who have stopped smoking combustible cigarettes by switching to tar-free nicotine delivery products.


This cross-sectional study evaluated and compared dental color parameters by digital spectrophotometry among five different groups: individuals who currently smoke ; individuals who used to smoke but have quit ; individuals who have never smoked ; exclusive users of electronic cigarettes (former smokers) ; and exclusive users of heated tobacco products (former smokers) .


Dental whiteness in current cigarette smokers was notably worse compared with never and former smokers, (13.38 Whiteness Index for Dentistry (WID) units vs. 19.96 and 16.79 WID units). Remarkably high WID values (i.e., whiter teeth) were also observed in ECs (16.72 WID units) and HTPs users (17.82 WID units). Compared to current smokers, difference in dental whiteness for ECs and HTPs users was visually noticeable (ΔWID difference being on average > 2.90 units). The colour differences measured as delta E*(ΔE*) were all visually detectable except for the comparison between ex-smokers and ECs users for which no perceptible color difference was observed (0.415).


Exclusive use of ECs and HTPs is associated with better dental color measurements than current smoking, suggesting that tar-free nicotine delivery technologies are unlikely to have negative effects on dental appearance.

Clinical significance

Use of alternative nicotine delivery systems may be associated with cosmetic benefits with important implications for those smokers perceiving dental aesthetics as a significant problem. For these an oral-based narrative may be a much more significant reason to refrain from smoking than the fear of developing smoking-related diseases in future.