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In the mouth, smoking zaps healthy bacteria, welcomes pathogens
Date:2/15/2012

een healthy bacterial communities and their human hosts.

Practically speaking, these findings have clear implications for patient care, according to Kumar.

"It has to drive how we treat the smoking population," she said. "They need a more aggressive form of treatment, because even after a professional cleaning, they're still at a very high risk for getting these pathogens back in their mouths right away.

"Dentists don't often talk to their patients about smoking cessation," she continued. "These results show that dentists should take a really active role in helping patients to get the support they need to quit."

For Kumar, who is a practicing periodontist as well as a teaching professor, doing research has changed how she treats her patients. "I tell them about our studies, about the bacteria and the host response, and I say, 'HeyI'm really scared for you.' Patients have been more willing to listen, and two actually quit."


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Contact: Purnima Kumar
Kumar.83@osu.edu
614-247-4532
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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