Smoking cessation alters subgingival microbial recolonization

S. C. Fullmer, P. M. Preshaw, P. A. Heasman, P. S. Kumar (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-528
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009


  • Bacteria
  • Molecular
  • Recolonization
  • Smoking cessation
  • Subgingival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Smoking cessation alters subgingival microbial recolonization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this