Background: Osteoporosis and periodontitis are common diseases affecting post-menopausal women; however, the exact relationship between the diseases is still uncertain. The purposes of this study were to examine the periodontal status in a group of type I post-menopausal women with and without osteoporosis and to elucidate the possible role of the osteoporosis in the pathogenesis of periodontal disease.
Methods: Thirty-four patients (18 in the osteoporotic and 16 in the non-osteoporotic group) were selected from 329 post-menopausal Taiwanese women who had completed radiographic measurements of spinal bone mineral density and received full-mouth periodontal examination. Periodontal measurements, including O'Leary plaque index, probing depths, clinical attachment level, and gingival recession, on 6 sites of each tooth of full mouth were examined and recorded by 1 examiner.
Results: Significantly greater probing depth was noted at the interproximal, but not at the facio-lingual, osteoporotic sites if compared to those non-osteoporotic sites. The depth was also significantly influenced by the examining factors of plaque accumulation, tooth location, and jaws. By individual jaw, increased attachment loss accompanied by greater probing depth and gingival recession was found at the osteoporotic sites on mandible if compared to non-osteoporotic sites. On maxilla, however, less gingival recession and attachment loss were observed at the osteoporotic sites.
Conclusions: In the present study, increased attachment loss accompanied by greater probing depth and gingival recession was found at the osteoporotic sites on mandible. However, the parameters were also influenced by the examining factors of plaque accumulation, tooth location, and jaws. Therefore, we suggest that post-menopausal osteoporosis may play a role in the pathogenesis of periodontal disease, especially on the mandible, although the etiology of periodontal disease is still multi-factorial.