Vaping has been found to cause the same amount of bacteria build-up in the mouth as cigarette smoking, which can lead to the development of gum disease or other complications, according to a study.

A peer-viewed study published in mBio on Tuesday by researchers at New York University discovered that people who vape or smoke cigarettes have completely different oral microbiomes than those who do not smoke anything. This includes an influx of harmful bacteria.

Deepak Saxena, a molecular pathologist at NYU and lead author of the new study, told The Daily Beast that they were trying to uncover if vaping had any similarities to the high chance of developing gum disease that cigarette smoking causes.

“What we were trying to find out is whether the spectrum [of an e-cigarette user’s oral microbiome] is closer to a smoker’s or closer to a non-smoker’s,” Saxena said.

Their study ended up proving that people who vape have a closer oral microbiome to cigarette smokers than non-smokers. Saxena and the team of researchers discovered that vaping and smoking cigarettes both cause colonies of disease-causing bacteria. This is due to smoking creating a low oxygen environment in the mouth that allows for these types of bacteria to thrive.

Fusobacterium and Treponema were two types of bacteria that were particularly found that can cause gum disease and even syphilis, according to the study.

Saxena explained to the Daily Beast that although finding these bacteria in both types of smokers’ mouths, “we don’t even know what the outcome of this microbiome in our overall health would be,” but their conclusion is that vaping is not a healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes.