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Head Face Med. 2012 Mar 1;8:5. doi: 10.1186/1746-160X-8-5.

Epidemiological aspects of rheumatoid arthritis patients affected by oral bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaws.

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UNESP-Univ. Estadual Paulista, School of Dentistry, Department of Diagnosis and Surgery, Division of Periodontology, Rua Humaitá, 1680, 14801-903 Araraquara, SP, Brazil.


This literature review aims to evaluate the epidemiologic profile of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) that developed a bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis that affect the jaws (BRONJ), including demographic aspects, as well as clinical and therapeutic issues. A search of PUBMED/MEDLINE, Scopus, and Cochrane databases from January 2003 to September 2011 was conducted with the objective of identifying publications that contained case reports regarding oral BRONJ in RA patients. Patients with RA who develop oral BRONJ are usually women above 60 years taking steroids and long-term alendronate. Most of them have osteoporosis, and lesions, triggered by dental procedures, are usually detected at stage II in the mandible. Although there is no accepted treatment protocol, these patients seem to have better outcomes with conservative approaches that include antibiotic therapy, chlorhexidine, and drug discontinuation.

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