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Smoking Prevents Healthy Bacteria Denver Dentist Reports

November 15, 2010

Denver Dentistry’s Dr. Guy Grabiak doesn’t generally talk to patients about quitting smoking but does warn them on the health implications smoking produces on their health. According to a new study done by an Ohio State periodontist, smoking cigarettes causes the body to turn against its own helpful bacteria, leaving them more vulnerable to disease. While most smokers certainly know that smoking is bad for them, they often don’t know the degrees of harm they are inflicting on their bodies.

The mouth contains a stable ecosystem of healthy bacteria that begin to form shortly after birth. These communities of healthy bacteria, called biofilm, help to keep bad bacteria away. Purnima Kumar, the doctor responsible for the study, shares the following. “The smoker’s mouth kicks out the good bacteria, and the pathogens are called in. So they’re allowed to proliferate much more quickly than they would in a non-smoking environment.”

These results suggest that dentists have to offer more aggressive treatment for smokers than for non-smokers to help them remain healthy. Smokers as a group suffer from higher rates of oral diseases, especially gum disease, than that of nonsmokers. Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth-loss in Americans and also contributes to additional health problems such as cardiovascular disease.

“When you compare a smoker and nonsmoker, there’s a distinct difference,” said Kumar. “The first thing you notice is that the mouth, which would normally contain thriving populations made of a just few types of helpful bacteria, is absent in smokers.”

Smokers in Denver who wish to combat themselves from harmful bacteria are encouraged to visit their dentist more frequently to monitor their oral health as well as help with the fight against harmful bacteria. The visit is not intended to be an intervention about your smoking. It is intended to help you remain healthy and keep you informed about the condition of your oral health.

To learn more about our dental cleanings and Denver gum disease treatments contact us today.


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