Smokers have a different plaque biofilm than non-smokers. Dr. Purnima Kumar, DDS, MDS, PhD, has discovered, while doing research into periodontal (gum) disease at the Ohio State University dental school. Dr. Kumar reports that the biofilm begins as a normal healthy collection of bacteria in the mouth, forming on the teeth and in the sulcus (a space between the teeth and gums).
“Good” bacteria protects us by occupying this niche and keeping pathogens (disease causing bacteria) out.
In a smoker, pathogens not normally found in the mouth find a home there. The result is an early pro-inflammatory response by the smoker’s immune system. Thus, smoking appears to affect both the biofilm composition and the host response to it.
Dr. Kumar’s results are that smokers have a 16 fold increase in risk for developing pathogenic bacteria in their plaque than do non smokers. She states “quit smoking and it can benefit you”.
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