The effect of caffeine on orthodontic tooth movement in rats

Document Type: Original Article


1 Dental Research Center, Dentistry Research Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Private practice, Houston, Texas

4 Orthodontic Resident, Department of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran

5 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

6 Experimental Medicine Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

7 Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Objective(s): to determine the effect of different doses of caffeine on orthodontic tooth movement (OTM) in rats.
Materials and Methods: Forty male 250-300 g Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups of ten animals each and received 0 (control), 1 g/l, 2 g/l and 3 g/l caffeine in tap water for 3 days. Orthodontic appliances were ligated between the maxillary first molars and incisors on the 4th day of the study period. All rats were sacrificed after 2 weeks of treatment after which OTM was measured. Hematoxylin/eosin-stained sections of the molars were prepared and the mesial roots were examined for resorption-lacunae depth and osteoclast number. ANOVA was used for statistical analysis (P<0.05).
Results: A significant decrease in OTM was observed only in the 2 g/l (P=0.043) and 3 g/l (P<0.01) caffeine-receiving rats compared to the control animals. Osteoclast counts and resorption-lacunae depths demonstrated significant differences between each of the caffeine groups and control rats (P<0.05). None of the variables showed significant differences between the caffeine groups (P>0.05).
Conclusion: According to our findings, one of the effects of caffeine consumption during orthodontic treatment in rats was decreased root resorption. Additionally, concentrations of 2 g/l and 3 g/l inhibited OTM which seems to be due to its influence on osteoclast numbers.


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