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The International Journal of Prosthodontics

Edited by George A. Zarb, BChD, DDS, MS, MS, FRCD(C)

ISSN 0893-2174

July/August 1997
Volume 10 , Issue 4

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Spinal Bone Density and Tooth Loss in a Cohort of Postmenopausal Women


Pages: 381-385
PMID: 9484049

Osteoporosis has been suggested to contribute to the edentulous condition. However, studies specifically designed to examine the relationship between tooth loss and osteoporosis are scarce, and reported results have been mixed. This study investigated the correlation between tooth loss and spinal bone density in a nonHispanic white female population. Forty-four subjects were recruited and divided into high and low spinal bone density groups based on whether the bone density was higher or lower than the age-adjusted population mean bone density. Missing teeth and periodontal status in these groups were assessed and analyzed. Tooth loss was not significantly different between subjects with low spinal bone density (4.90 =- 0.89 teeth) and high spinal bone density (3.81 +- 0.90 teeth). Tooth loss did not differ after age and periodontal adjustment. However, the loss of attachment levels (relative to the cementoenamel junction) was greater in the low spinal bone density subjects (3.42 +- 0.30 mm) than in the high spinal bone density subjects (2.37 +- 0.26 mm) (P < .05). The difference may have resulted from gingival recession (P < .05), because the gingival pocket depths were not significantly different between the two groups. In this study, total tooth loss was not directly associated with systemic bone density. However, periodontal disease was negatively associated with spinal bone density. Whether periodontal disease will ultimately lead to greater tooth loss in low spinal bone density group merits further investigation.

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