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In the mouth, smoking zaps healthy bacteria, welcomes pathogens

from Medical Xpress

Despite the daily disturbance of brushing and flossing, the mouth of a healthy person contains a stable ecosystem of healthy bacteria. New research shows that the mouth of a smoker is a much more chaotic, diverse ecosystem — and is much more susceptible to invasion by harmful bacteria. As a group, smokers suffer from higher rates of oral diseases — especially gum disease — than do nonsmokers, which is a challenge for dentists, according to PurnimaKumar, assistant professor of periodontology at Ohio State University. She and her colleagues are involved in a multi-study investigation of the role the body's microbial communities play in preventing oral disease. more


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