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Smoking Cessation Alters Subgingival Microbial Recolonization

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Philip Preshaw, Professor Peter Heasman


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Smoking cessation improves the clinical manifestations of periodontitis; however, its effect on the subgingival biofilm, the primary etiological agent of periodontitis, is unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate, longitudinally, if smoking cessation altered the composition of the subgingival microbial community, by means of a quantitative, cultivation-independent assay for bacterial profiling. Subgingival plaque was collected at baseline, and 3, 6, and 12 months post-treatment from smokers who received root planing and smoking cessation counseling. The plaque was analyzed by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (t-RFLP). Microbial profiles differed significantly between smokers and quitters at 6 and 12 months following smoking cessation. The microbial community in smokers was similar to baseline, while quitters demonstrated significantly divergent profiles. Changes in bacterial levels contributed to this shift. These findings reveal a critical role for smoking cessation in altering the subgingival biofilm and suggest a mechanism for improved periodontal health associated with smoking cessation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Fullmer SC, Preshaw PM, Heasman PA, Kumar PS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Dental Research

Year: 2009

Volume: 88

Issue: 6

Pages: 524-528

ISSN (print): 0022-0345

ISSN (electronic): 1544-0591

Publisher: Sage Publications, Inc.


DOI: 10.1177/0022034509338676


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