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Influence of cigarette smoking on oral microbiota in patients with recurrent aphthous stomatitis
  1. Xue Wang1,2,
  2. Na Luo1,2,
  3. Qili Mi1,
  4. Weisong Kong1,
  5. Wei Zhang1,
  6. Xuemei Li1,
  7. Qian Gao1
  1. 1 Department of Technology Center, China Tobacco Yunnan Industrial Corporation, Kunming, Yunnan, China
  2. 2 School of Pharmacy and Yunnan Key Laboratory of Natural Medicine Pharmacology, Kunming Medical University, Kunming, China
  1. Correspondence to Qian Gao, Technology Center, China Tobacco Yunnan Industrial Corporation, Kunming, Yunnan, China; gaoqian840905{at}; Dr Xuemei Li; lixuem{at}


Recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) is a common recurrent ulcerative disease of the oral mucosa which is closely related to oral microbial composition. However, the specific effect and the mechanism of smoking in RAS are unclear. In this study, 16S rRNA sequencing technology was used to compare the differences in saliva microbial community between 28 non-smoking healthy controls (NSctrl), 31 non-smoking RAS patients (NSras), and 19 smoking RAS patients (Sras). The results showed that the bacterial community diversity in patients with RAS (NSras and Sras) was lower than that of NSctrl. The microbial community in smoking-associated RAS is less diverse and distinct from that of non-smokers. The RAS groups have higher abundance of Veillonella, Rothia, and Sneathia and lower abundance of Bacteroidales, Bacteroides, Wolinella, Moryella, Pyramidobacter, and Christensenellaceae at the genera level. A significantly different abundance of Anaerovorax, Candidatus Endomicrobium, Lactococcus, Sneathia, Veillonella, and Cloacibacterium was observed between the Sras and the NSras group. Notably, there was a significant difference in many species from the genus Prevotella and Treponema between the NSras and the Sras group. Further, the relative abundance of several taxa is correlated with smoking age or frequency, including Megasphaera, Haemophilus, Leptotrichia, and Rothia at the genera level, and Prevotella melaninogenica, Prevotella salivae, Megasphaera micronuciformis, Haemophilus parainfluenzae, Alloprevotella tannerae, Actinomyces naeslundii, Lautropia mirabilis, and Capnocytophaga sputigena at the species level. Among patients with RAS, smoking aggravated the pathways of respiration and human pathogens. Our results suggest that smoking is closely related to changes in the oral microbiota, which may contribute an opposite effect to the pathogenesis of RAS. This study provides new insight and theoretical basis for the cause and pathogenesis of RAS and better prevention and treatment.

  • microbiota
  • smoking

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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  • XW and NL contributed equally.

  • Contributors Conceptualization: QG, XL, Investigation: XW, NL. Formal analysis: QM, WK. Methodology: WZ. Data curation: XW, NL. Writing - original draft: XW, NL, QG. Writing - review and editing: QG, XL. Supervision: XL. Guarantor: QG.

  • Funding This work was supported by the Research Foundation of China Tobacco Company (grant 110201901021(JY-08)) and the Research Foundation of China Tobacco Yunnan Industrial (grant 2018XY04).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.

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