If you’re like many smokers who want to kick the habit, but are just not ready to take the leap… perhaps this bit of information will push you over the edge.
According to a new study, smoking causes the body to turn against its own helpful bacteria, leaving smokers more vulnerable to disease.
Also see: Study – Smokers Have More Dental Problems, But Rarely See a Dentist
The mouth of a healthy, non-smoker contains a stable ecosystem of healthy bacteria. The mouth of a smoker, on the other hand, is much more chaotic and is more susceptible to the invasion of harmful bacteria. On the whole, smokers suffer from higher rates of oral diseases, like gum disease, and cancer.
“When you compare a smoker and nonsmoker, there’s a distinct difference,” said Purnima Kumar, assistant professor of periodontology at Ohio State University. “The first thing you notice is that the basic ‘lawn,’ which would normally contain thriving populations made of a just few types of helpful bacteria, is absent in smokers.”
Smokers also have higher levels of cytokines, indicating that the body is mounting defenses against infection. Clinically, this immune response takes the form of red, swollen gums – called gingivitis – that can lead to the irreversible bone loss. Even more alarming? Smokers’ bodies treat even healthy bacteria as threatening.
Smokers need to be afraid about the states of their bodies. They are in danger.
If you smoke, take a moment to consider what you’re doing to yourself. Is it really worth it?