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J Int Acad Periodontol. 2007 Jul;9(3):77-84.

The effect of osteoporosis on periodontal status, alveolar bone and orthodontic tooth movement. A literature review.

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  • 1Department of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.


Osteoporosis, an age-related condition, is defined as a systemic skeletal disease characterized by low bone mass and micro-architectural deterioration with a consequent increase in bone fragility and susceptibility to fracture. It is considered the most common bone metabolic disease and it constitutes a major public health problem. Several studies indicate that osteoporosis may be related to decreased oral bone density and alveolar bone loss. In osteoporotic patients, uncoupling of bone resorption and bone formation has taken place. Both bone resorption and bone formation are accelerated, and excessive bone resorption usually leads to loss of attachment. Osteoporosis could also affect the rate of tooth movement through the involvement of alveolar bone. In healthy individuals, bone is constantly being remodeled in the coupled sequence of bone resorption and formation. When a force is applied to a tooth, alveolar bone formation and resorption occur predominantly on the tension and pressure sides of the root, respectively, and the tooth moves with increased alveolar bone remodeling. Experimental studies suggest that systemic-osteoporotic hormone imbalance increases bone turnover and accelerates tooth movement while under orthodontic treatment. Based on these observations it can be concluded that deviations in bone turnover and consequent periodontal problems influence the response to orthodontic forces, and this should be taken into consideration when planning orthodontic treatment in adult patients with metabolic bone disease, especially postmenopausal females or those on chronic medication affecting bone metabolism.

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