Escaping the Adverse Impacts of NSAIDs on Tooth Movement During Orthodontics: Current Evidence Based on a Meta-Analysis

Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 Apr;95(16):e3256. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000003256.


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used to relieve pain during orthodontic treatments; however, the possible inhibition of orthodontic tooth movement (OTM) by NSAIDs has been debated. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of some commonly used NSAIDs on OTM during orthodontic treatments. A review of the literature identified relevant studies up to August 2014. A meta-analysis was performed following the guidelines of the Cochrane review group and the PRISMA statement. Studies were identified by searching PUBMED, EMBASE, Web of Science, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and the WHO Clinical Trials Registry Platform. Meta-analysis was performed in a fixed/random-effect model using Revman 5.1.1.Five studies, including 128 subjects and 3 main NSAIDs (celecoxib, acetaminophen, and aspirin), were included for quantitative synthesis and analysis. Celecoxib did not inhibit OTM except with middle-term use (2-3 weeks) (95% CI [-6.47 to -0.43], P = 0.03). Acetaminophen did not inhibit OTM except with long-term use (>1 month) and low-dose use (∼100 mg/kg per day), (95% CI [-2.96 to -0.78], P = 0.0008; 95%CI [-2.42, -0.46], P = 0.004; respectively). Aspirin was found to inhibit OTM (95%CI [-2.40 to -0.64], P = 0.0008). Our systematic review with meta-analysis suggests that aspirin might inhibit OTM in rat models, whereas the short-term (<1 week) use of celecoxib and acetaminophen for relieving orthodontic pain would not inhibit OTM. Well-designed human research should be completed before a solid conclusion can be reached.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Orthodontics / methods*
  • Rats
  • Tooth Movement Techniques / methods*
  • Toothache / prevention & control*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal