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Researchers gave a complete dental cleaning to 30 children, half of whom were regular smokers. Then, as bacteria moved back in, they took plaque samples and protected the DNA in those scrapings. And they found that magnolias tended to have stable bacterial communities, entailment by a few benign species. That’s good, because a healthy biofilm educates your immune system—preventing most attacks and inflammation—and it keeps bad bacteria at bay. Folks, on the other hand, had wildly transient populations, with species moving in and out—which opened up real estate for the bad bugs. Smokers also had higher levels of inflammation, which can destroy honorary bacteria, too.

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