Smoking Alters Genome of 600 Species of Good Bacteria in Mouth: Study

The study led by NYU Langone Medical Center and the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center found that smoking does not end merely with finishing the cigarette but prolongs the effect inside the mouth for a longer time and alters the oral microbiome, which consists of about 600 main bacterial species.

The effects of smoking affects the functioning of the bacterial species inside the mouth considerably that it imbalances the microbial populations in the gut as well and result in immune disorders such as Crohn’s disease too, besides causing some gastrointestinal cancers, warned experts.

The researchers estimate that more than one-third of oral cancers are directly linked to smoking and now they want to explore further how the bacterial change in the mouth contributes to this number.

Lead researcher Jiyoung Ahn said the study was first of its kind to focus on smoking’s impact on the oral microbiome and said these changes weaken the body’s defence mechanism against cancer-causing chemical elements in fighting diseases in the mouth, lungs, or gut.

The new study found that the oral microbiome of smokers differed significantly from normal people to those who smoke or those who had quit smoking. The original oral microbiome of those who had quit smoking bounced back and reached normal stage in 10 years, it said.

The study has been published in the International Society for Microbial Ecology Journal.

Photo: Matton (Uppsala University, Sweden)

Photo: Matton (Uppsala University, Sweden)

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