The impact of smoking different tobacco types on the subgingival microbiome and periodontal health: a pilot study

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Smoking is a risk factor for periodontal disease, and a cause of oral microbiome dysbiosis. While this has been evaluated for traditional cigarette smoking, there is limited research on the effect of other tobacco types on the oral microbiome. This study investigates subgingival microbiome composition in smokers of different tobacco types and their effect on periodontal health. Subgingival plaques were collected from 40 individuals, including smokers of either cigarettes, medwakh, or shisha, and non-smokers seeking dental treatment at the University Dental Hospital in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. The entire (~ 1500 bp) 16S rRNA bacterial gene was fully amplified and sequenced using Oxford Nanopore technology. Subjects were compared for the relative abundance and diversity of subgingival microbiota, considering smoking and periodontal condition. The relative abundances of several pathogens were significantly higher among smokers, such as Prevotella denticola and Treponema sp. OMZ 838 in medwakh smokers, Streptococcus mutans and Veillonella dispar in cigarette smokers, Streptococcus sanguinis and Tannerella forsythia in shisha smokers. Subgingival microbiome of smokers was altered even in subjects with no or mild periodontitis, probably making them more prone to severe periodontal diseases. Microbiome profiling can be a useful tool for periodontal risk assessment. Further studies are recommended to investigate the impact of tobacco cessation on periodontal disease progression and oral microbiome.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1113
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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