According to Science Daily, researchers at the New York University Langone Medical Center and the New York University School of Medicine have found that smoking cigarettes changes naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth. The study was published in International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME) Journal.
Science Daily reports that previous studies have examined the correlation between changes in gut-bacteria in relation to diseases of the immune system, but not too much research has been devoted to oral bacteria. The researchers wanted to know what role, if any, smoking had on changes to the oral microbiome. They found that smoking had a huge impact on bacterial changes in the mouth.
The good news is that when a person quits smoking their oral microbiome goes back to normal (after at least 10 years). It is thought that changes to the oral microbiome may influence diseases such as oral cancer. Smoking is thought to cause at least two-thirds of all oral cancers.
United Press International (UPI) reported that the changes in the bacteria in the oral biome risked disease, not only the mouth, but also in the lungs and the digestive tract. Proteobacteria is a type of bacteria that helps break down toxicants in the mouth, toxicants that become present in the oral biome when an individual smokes a cigarette.
Researchers also found that cigarette smokers had more Streptococcus in their oral biome than nonsmokers.
These special types of proteobacteria significantly decreased when the oral biome was exposed to cigarette smoke. Researchers also found that cigarette smokers had more Streptococcus in their oral biome than nonsmokers.
More research will be needed in order to study the impact the changes to the oral biome might have on weakening the body’s immune response to diseases such as cancer.