The risk of osteoporosis increases with age. As it sets in, so can periodontitis, according to research from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Yet the study also found that treatment for osteoporosis can protect patients against periodontitis.
The researchers selected 48 elderly women with normal bone mineral density (BMD) and 86 with osteoporosis from 1,266 subjects evaluated for lumbar spine and proximal femur BMD using dual x-ray absorptiometry. The study also recorded the subjects’ sociodemographic and clinical characteristics in addition to complete periodontal exam results. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were measured as well.
The women with osteoporosis presented a higher frequency of sites with clinical attachment level greater than or equal to 6 mm and of gingival recession greater than or equal to 3 mm than those with normal BMD. They also were more than twice as likely to present severe periodontitis.
Furthermore, osteoporotic women who weren’t treated for the condition were more likely to present with severe periodontitis than those osteoporotic women who used bisphosphonates. Among subjects who presented low levels of vitamin D, those with osteoporosis exhibited a higher chance to present with severe periodontitis than those with normal BMD, though the association between vitamin D levels and osteoporosis was not statistically significant after adjustment.
The study, “Association of Osteoporosis and Bone Medication with the Periodontal Condition in Elderly Women,” was published by Osteoporosis International.