Supragingival microbiome alternations as a consequence of smoking different tobacco types and its relation to dental caries

Farah Al-Marzooq, Sausan Al Kawas, Betul Rahman, Jenni A. Shearston, Hiba Saad, Dalenda Benzina, Michael Weitzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aimed to assess the effect of smoking different tobacco types on the supragingival microbiome and its relation to dental caries. Forty supragingival plaque samples were collected from smokers of a single tobacco type and non-smokers seeking treatment at the University Dental Hospital Sharjah, UAE. DMFT (decayed, missing and filled teeth) was determined for all participants who were divided into two groups: no-low caries (NC-LC: DMFT = 0–4; n = 18) and moderate-high caries (MC-HC: DMFT = 5–20; n = 22). 16S rRNA gene was sequenced using third-generation sequencing with Nanopore technology. Microbiome composition and diversity were compared. Caries was most common among cigarette smokers. Supragingival microbiota were significantly altered among smokers of different tobacco types. In cigarette smokers, cariogenic bacteria from genus Streptococcus (including S. mutans) were significantly more among subjects with NC-LC, while Lactobacilli (including L. fermentum) were more among subjects with MC-HC. In medwakh smokers, several periodontopathogens were significantly elevated in subjects with NC-LC, while other pathogenic bacteria (as Klebsiella pneumoniae) were more in those with MC-HC. Cigarette and alternative tobacco smoking had a significant impact on the supragingival microbiome. Indeed, further studies are required to unravel the consequences of oral dysbiosis triggered by smoking. This could pave the way for microbiota-based interventional measures for restoring a healthy oral microbiome which could be a promising strategy to prevent dental caries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2861
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 21 2022


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Dental Caries/etiology
  • Dental Plaque/microbiology
  • Dysbiosis/etiology
  • Female
  • Gingiva/microbiology
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillus
  • Male
  • Microbiota
  • Middle Aged
  • Smoking/adverse effects
  • Streptococcus
  • Tobacco/adverse effects
  • Tobacco Products/adverse effects
  • Young Adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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