The graduate, Leena Bahl Palomo, D.D.S and M.S.D, tracked 60 menopausal women who had visited University Hospitals of Cleveland for osteoporosis and who had also visited the Case dental clinics. Nabil Bissada, chair and professor of Case's department of Periodontology; and James Liu, chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology of University Hospitals of Cleveland collaborated with Ms Palomo in the study. In the study, Palomo monitored women who were on daily or weekly bisphosphonate for at least three months. This therapy regimen is given to regenerate bone mass. These women were aged between 51 and 79 and participants did not smoke or use tobacco or estrogen products. Neither did they have any chronic conditions like diabetes which raises the risk of periodontal disease. However, the participants of the risedronate group did acknowledge that they took a higher level of vitamins and calcium supplements. All women in the study were assessed for the presence of any amount of inflammation, depth of the periodontal pocket, recession of the gums, mobility of the teeth and the presence of plaque. All these factors are standard parameters for gum disease as established by the American Academy of Periodontology. It was found that the risedronate therapy group had better periodontal status in five of the six above mentioned conditions. Gum recession did not vary greatly in either group.
'We found a significant difference between the women who used the medications from the women who did not,' said Palomo. 'In the same way that the bisphosphonate is helping to prevent hip and vertebral fractures, the medications also prevent the loss of bone in the jaws--the bones which support the teeth. With a close link established between osteoporosis and periodontal disease, similar treatment and management of the disease might minimize tooth loss and the destruction of the alveolar (jaw) bone.'
The details of the study appear in the current issue of the Menopause journal.
Contact: Susan Griffith
Case Western Reserve University
Medindia on osteoporosis:
Osteoporosis is often known as "the silent thief" because bone loss occurs without symptoms and the progressive loss and thinning of bone tissue happens over many years.