Background: Alendronate (ALN) is an aminobisphosphonate commonly used for osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. We studied the effect of ALN on bone loss prevention in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients with periodontal disease.
Methods: In a controlled double-blind, randomized study we evaluated prospectively diabetic patients paired by gender and years since diagnosis for 6 months. The study included 40 patients (20 men and 20 women), 50 to 60 years old, with more than 5 years since diagnosis of diabetes and established periodontitis. They were randomly allocated to alendronate (10 mg/daily) or placebo treatment for 6 months. The endpoints of treatment were: the distance between the alveolar bone border and the cemento-enamel-junction (CEJ) evaluated by means of digital radiographic imaging, a biochemical marker of bone resorption (urine N-telopeptide) (Ntx), and periodontal parameters. Metabolic control was assessed at baseline and after 6 months.
Results: Baseline and 6-month glycated hemoglobin levels were similar in both groups. Alendronate induced a significant decrease in NTx at 6 months (P = 0.006). Periodontal parameters improved in both groups. However, they were significantly better for the ALN treated group. Alveolar bone border-CEJ distance increased in the placebo, but decreased in the ALN group (P = 0.0003).
Conclusions: In type-2 diabetic patients, alendronate induced more improvement in alveolar bone crest height than control therapy. No differences in urinary N-telopeptide or glycated hemoglobin were observed in this short-term randomized controlled pilot trial.