The purpose of this paper is two-fold: (1) to review the evidence that osteoporosis and post-menopausal estrogen deficiency are associated with progressive alveolar bone loss and an elevated risk of tooth loss; and (2) to propose the use of tetracyclines, specifically low-dose doxycycline (LDD) (and, perhaps in the future, the chemically modified tetracyclines), to mitigate alveolar bone loss in post-menopausal osteoporotic/osteopenic women. Design concepts for a randomized clinical trial to study the effects of LDD on progressive alveolar bone loss in this patient population are reviewed. Since osteoporosis affects over 20 million people in the United States, progressive alveolar bone loss in this patient group represents a potentially significant public health problem unique from common adult periodontitis. Stopping progressive alveolar bone loss is essential to prevent both tooth loss and micro-architectural deterioration of alveolar bone.
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