JOURNAL ARTICLE

Inhaled corticosteroid-related tooth problems in asthmatics

Eui-Ryoung Han, Inseon S Choi, Hee-Kyung Kim, Yong-Woon Kang, Jin-Gyoon Park, Jeong-Ran Lim, Jae-Hyun Seo, Jong-Hun Choi
Journal of Asthma 2009, 46 (2): 160-4
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BACKGROUND: The recent Global Initiative for Asthma guideline states that inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) may induce osteoporosis as a systemic adverse effect. New ICSs, such as fluticasone propionate, have a high topical potency and may therefore induce tooth problems as a result of direct exposure without hepatic metabolism more frequently than older ICSs.

OBJECTIVE: We evaluated asthma patients who underwent long-term treatment with a new ICS to determine if they had tooth problems that were related to osteoporosis of the mandible.

METHODS: When the conventional bone mineral density (BMD) of asthmatics that received the ICS treatment for at least one year was measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, the BMD of the mandible was also measured. The T-score of the mandible BMD was then determined based on the mean BMD +/- the standard deviation of normal young adults.

RESULT: Asthma patients with tooth loss (n = 36) and with caries or other tooth problems (n = 28) were found to have a significantly higher prevalence of osteoporosis in the mandible than those without tooth problems (n = 17; 22.2%, 7.1%, 0%, respectively; chi(2) = 6.34, p < 0.05). In addition, the presence of mandibular osteoporosis (odds ratio: 6.14, p = 0.02) and a T-score of < -1.0 for the femoral neck (odds ratio: 3.25, p = 0.01) were found to be significant risk factors for tooth loss in the asthma patients. Finally, the T-score of the mandible was found to be correlated with age (r = -0.316, p < 0.01), and with the T-scores of the lumbar spine (r = 0.413, p < 0.001) and femoral neck (r = 0.446, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: Tooth loss in asthma patients undergoing long-term treatment with a topically potent ICS was found to be related to a decrease in BMD, especially in the mandible. Therefore, patients using these types of ICS should have their mandibular BMD checked regularly, especially if they have any risk factors for osteoporosis. In addition, it would be wise for such patients to reduce their ICS dose.

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