Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title



The purpose of this experiment was to determine the effect of smoking or vaping on the oral microbiota. The study was approved by the YHC IRB. Seventeen YHC students were divided into three test groups: control (did not smoke or vape), smokers, and vapers. All participants were given a survey regarding their oral hygiene and nicotine use. Swabs of participants’ mouths were placed in saline, which was used to inoculate blood agar (to assess total microbial count and hemolysis) and mitis salivarius agar (selective for Streptococcus). Plates were grown anaerobically for 48 hours at 37˚C and colonies were counted. A sample of colonies were Gram stained and colony morphology was assessed. Participants’ saliva was used to inoculate Snyder agar deeps which indicates propensity for dental caries. Snyder deeps were grown for 72 hours aerobically and checked for yellow color change (an indicator of acid production) every 24 hours. Survey results showed no difference between participant characteristics in the groups except that vapers were significantly younger than the other two groups (p value 0.0282), only smokers reported that they smoked (p value 0.0005) and only vapers reported that they vaped (p value 0.0004). There were no significant differences between the number of colony forming units grown on blood agar (between 7.4 x 104 and 1.1 x 105 CFU/ml) or mitis salivarius agar (between 4.8 x 103 and 1.2 x 104 CFU/ml) or in Snyder agar results between the groups. The results of this study indicate there are no differences between the oral microbiota we surveyed in smokers, vapers, and controls. Supported by the YHC Undergraduate Research Initiative.

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