Potential correlation between statins and pulp chamber calcification

Mary T. Pettiette, Sheng Zhong, Antonio J. Moretti, Asma A. Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1119-1123
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of endodontics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Calcifications
  • odontoblast
  • pulp
  • root canal
  • statins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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