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Women with low bone mineral density and dental panoramic radiography

Passos, Johelle Santana DDS, MSc1; Gomes Filho, Isaac Suzart DDS, MSc, PhD1; Sarmento, Viviane Almeida DDS, MSc, PhD1; Sampaio, Daiane Silva DDS1; Gonçalves, Fernanda Pedreira DDS1; Coelho, Julita Maria Freitas DDS, MSc, PhD1; Cruz, Simone Seixas DDS, MSc, PhD2; Trindade, Soraya C. DDS, MSc, PhD1; Cerqueira, Eneida M. DDS, MSc, PhD1

doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e318240f938
Original Articles

Objective The aim of this study was to investigate whether some mandibular measurements on panoramic radiographs are associated with low bone mineral density in postmenopausal women.

Methods A sample of 122 panoramic dental radiographs and bone density tests from women 50 years or older were examined. Bone mineral density was measured in the lumbar spine and proximal femur regions through dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. The mandibular cortical bone thickness below the mental foramen, mandibular alveolar bone resorption, and panoramic mandibular index were measured.

Results The mandibular cortical thickness and mandibular alveolar bone resorption showed the highest specificity (lumbar spine: 89.8% vs 73.5%, proximal femur: 83.6% vs 71.2%, respectively). The panoramic mandibular index demonstrated the highest sensitivity (lumbar spine: 43.8%; proximal femur: 40.8%). The association between the mandibular cortical thickness and bone mineral density was statistically significant even after adjustment for hormonal treatment, smoking, age at menopause, and body mass index (P = 0.04).

Conclusions It is suggested that panoramic radiography may be useful for confirming individuals who present with low bone mineral density.

From the 1Feira de Santana State University, Feira de Santana, Bahia, Brazil; and 2Federal University of Recôncavo da Bahia, Santo Antonio de Jesus, Bahia, Brazil.

Received September 22, 2011; revised and accepted November 8, 2011.

Funding/support: This study was supported by the Research Support Foundation of the State of Bahia (FAPESB), National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), and State University of Feira de Santana.

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.

Address correspondence to: Johelle de Santana Passos, DDS, MSc, Avenida Getúlio Vargas 379, Centro, Feira de Santana, Bahia, Brazil, 44025-010. E-mail:

©2012The North American Menopause Society