Title: Evaluation of gingival microcirculation in patients undergoing fixed orthodontic treatment: a pilot study
Abstract: Aim Among the many biological effects which occur during orthodontic movement, we decided to investigate gingival microcirculation. The aim of the study was to evaluate the biological microvascular response to the application of orthodontic force in vivo.
Materials and methods Forty patients (case group) between 9-22 years of age (average± DS 12±3.01) were selected for the study (M/F ratio: 20/20). They needed fixed orthodontic treatment due to several types of malocclusion. Forty healthy subjects (control group) were also recruited (M/F ratio 20/20; average age 12 years ± 4.01; Mean±SD =10.04±1.7). A videocapillaroscopic examination was performed on each patient on the buccal alveolar mucosa at the pre-treatment time (t0), 1 month after the beginning of the treatment (t1), after 2 months (t2), after 6 months (t3), and after 12 months (t4).
Results Capillary density increases significantly from t0 to t1. Between t1 to t2, t2 to t3 the density underwent another increase. Between t3 and t4 (69.22 ± 3.63) the density showed no increase. In the control group no statistical differences were observed.
Conclusion Videocapillaroscopy allows the in vivo evaluation and quantification of the microcirculatory changes consequent to the application of orthodontic force, managing to detect subclinical changes in angiogenesis. In fact, the study revealed an increase in the density of the capillaries which is directly proportionate to the application time of the orthodontic device, i.e. the exogenous mechanical force. This research offers new perspectives for the future of monitoring fixed orthodontic therapy.