Skeletal bone diseases impact the periodontium: A review of bisphosphonate therapy

Leena Palomo, James Liu, Nabil F. Bissada

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Healthcare professionals should be aware that systemic bone conditions impact the periodontium. Bisphosphonate drugs used for systemic bone loss affect the maxilla and mandible. Alveolar bone loss in periodontitis and skeletal bone loss share common mechanisms. At present, bisphosphonates are in wide use for prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, Paget's disease and metastatic bone conditions. This therapy is linked to a negative side effect called osteonecrosis of the jaws. At the same time, bisphosphonate therapy is also reported to be beneficial to the periodontium. In fact, periodontal therapy using bisphosphonates to modulate host response to bacterial insult may develop into a potential strategy in populations in which periodontal therapy is not convenient. Unlocking the full potential of bisphosphonates involves understanding the mechanisms of action of different classes of bisphosphonates, limiting unwanted side effects and expanding its indications. Developing bisphosphonates to slow the progression of periodontal disease depends on identifying an effective dosage regimen and delivery system that would reach the target site in the periodontium, while limiting unwanted side effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-315
Number of pages7
JournalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • Alveolar bone
  • Bisphosphonates
  • Osteoclast
  • Periodontitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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