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Breaking the Habit: Five Years After Stopping Smoking, Oral Microbiota Returns


A new study that was published in the journal Scientific Reports looked at how smoking affects the composition of the oral microbiome.

In addition to respiratory disorders, periodontitis, oropharyngeal malignancies, and cardiovascular disorders, smoking increases these risks. It has been documented that smokers, as well as those with periodontitis, cardiovascular disorders, and squamous cell carcinoma, have altered oral microbiomes. Thus, alterations in the oral microbiota brought on by smoking may be a factor in chronic illnesses. The oral microbiota is engaged in the nitrate reduction process and serves a variety of purposes.

Diets high in nitrates increase the number of nitrate-reducing bacteria (NRB). It is uncertain if smoke alters the relative abundance of NRB. Smoking behavior affects the salivary microbiota’s makeup. According to a meta-analysis, smokers’ proportion of aerobes was lower, their actinobacteria were higher, and their protobacteria were lower than those who had never smoked.

While studies have identified correlations between the makeup of salivary microbiota and smoking status in American populations, no research has looked at the relationships between salivary microbiota and metabolic capacity with years since cessation or severity of smoking in European populations.

This study examined relationships between the makeup of salivary microbiota and smoking history, status, and intensity in 1,601 Italian participants. The average age of the participants was 45, and around 53% of them were female. Of the respondents, 72% had at least 20 natural teeth, and 45% had smoked at some point in their lives. For all but five of them, cigarettes were the main source of tobacco.

Individuals between the ages of 41 and 60 who had smoked in the past had fewer teeth than those who had smoked less frequently overall. Nearly 36 million reads, with a median of 22,308 reads per sample, were obtained from the sequencing of the oral microbiota in a few selected samples. 627 amplicon sequence variations from 82 taxa were included in the sample.

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