Potential Correlation between Statins and Pulp Chamber Calcification

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Abstract

Introduction:

3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibitors (statins) are the first-line pharmaceuticals for the prevention and treatment of dyslipidemia. A recent investigation has shown that statins induced odontoblastic differentiation of dental pulp stem cells. Statins enhance the differentiation of human dental pulp cells by up-regulating mineralization nodules and odontogenic markers. This study tested the hypothesis that the systemic administration of statins results in increased dental pulp calcification.

Methods:

This retrospective case-control study used digital bitewing radiographs of mandibular molars. Subjects (N = 90) aged ≥60 years were assigned to either test (n = 45) or control (n = 45) groups based on the systemic use of statins. The dimensions of the pulp chambers were measured using a standardized method for height and mesiodistal distances. The chi-square test was used to analyze the data. Multiple linear regression model analysis was performed to explore the association between statin intake and pulp calcification.

Results:

Three of the 45 mandibular molars in the test group exhibited almost complete pulp chamber obliteration. There was a significant reduction in pulp chamber height ratio shown in the statin group compared with the control group (P < .0001). When the mesiodistal width was compared between the 2 groups, there was no significant difference (P = .3730).

Conclusions:

The significant increase of calcification and loss of vertical height of the pulp chamber observed in mandibular molars in patients on statin medication indicated a possible increased odontoblastic activity. Therefore, systemic statins could be a contributing factor for pulp chamber calcification.

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