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International Journal of Dentistry
Volume 2013, Article ID 841840, 7 pages
Review Article

The Role of Hypoxia in Orthodontic Tooth Movement

Department of Orthodontics, University Medical Center Regensburg, 93053 Regensburg, Germany

Received 6 June 2013; Accepted 16 September 2013

Academic Editor: Stephen Richmond

Copyright © 2013 A. Niklas et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Orthodontic forces are known to have various effects on the alveolar process, such as cell deformation, inflammation, and circulatory disturbances. Each of these conditions affecting cell differentiation, cell repair, and cell migration, is driven by numerous molecular and inflammatory mediators. As a result, bone remodeling is induced, facilitating orthodontic tooth movement. However, orthodontic forces not only have cellular effects but also induce vascular changes. Orthodontic forces are known to occlude periodontal ligament vessels on the pressure side of the dental root, decreasing the blood perfusion of the tissue. This condition is accompanied by hypoxia, which is known to either affect cell proliferation or induce apoptosis, depending on the oxygen gradient. Because upregulated tissue proliferation rates are often accompanied by angiogenesis, hypoxia may be assumed to fundamentally contribute to bone remodeling processes during orthodontic treatment.