The association of cigarette smoking with alveolar bone loss in postmenopausal females

Jeffrey B. Payne, Richard A. Reinhardt, Pirkka V. Nummikoski, David G. Dunning, Kashinath D. Patil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Background, aims: The purpose of this 2-year longitudinal clinical study was to determine the impact of smoking on alveolar bone height and density changes in postmenopausal females. Methods: 59 postmenopausal women completed this study, including 38 non-smokers and 21 smokers. All subjects had a history of periodontitis, participated in 3- to 4-month periodontal maintenance programs and were within 5 years of menopause at the study outset. 4 vertical bite-wing radiographs of posterior sextants were taken at baseline and 2-year visits. Radiographs were evaluated using computer-assisted densitometric image analysis (CADIA); changes in interproximal alveolar bone density and changes in alveolar bone height were determined. Relative clinical attachment levels (RCAL) and presence/absence of plaque and bleeding on probing were recorded. Results: Smokers exhibited a higher frequency of alveolar bone height loss (p< 0.05) and crestal (p<0.03) and subcrestal (p<0.02) density loss relative to non-smokers. Smokers exhibited a trend (p<0.08) toward a higher frequency of ≥2.0 mm RCAL loss over the 2-year period. Plaque and bleeding on probing did not differ between smokers and non-smokers. A significant interaction, determined by repeated measures ANOVA, was noted between systemic bone mineral density (BMD) at the lumbar spine and smoking on alveolar bone density change (p<0.05). Only non-smoking patients with normal BMD realized a mean net gain in alveolar bone density; osteoporotic/osteopenic subjects (n=25) and smokers lost alveolar bone density. Conclusion: Postmenopausal female smokers were more likely to lose alveolar bone height and density than non-smokers with a similar periodontitis, plaque and gingival bleeding experience. In addition, both smoking and osteoporosis/ osteopenia provided a negative influence on alveolar bone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)658-664
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Periodontology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2000


  • Alveolar bone loss
  • Computer-assisted densitometric image analysis
  • Longitudinal
  • Oral
  • Osteoporosis
  • Postmenopausal
  • Smoking
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics


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