Cadmium (Cd) is an environmental contaminant that damages the kidney, the liver, and bones. Some epidemiological studies showed associations between Cd exposure and periodontal disease. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between Cd exposure and periodontal disease in experimental animals. Male Sprague/Dawley rats were given daily subcutaneous injections of Cd (0.6 mg/kg/day) for up to 12 weeks. The animals were euthanized, and their mandibles and maxillae were evaluated for levels of periodontal bone by measuring the distance from the cementoenamel junction (CEJ) to the alveolar bone crest (ABC) of the molar roots. After 12 weeks of Cd exposure in animals, there was a significantly greater distance between the CEJ and ABC in the palatal aspect of the maxillary molars and the lingual aspect of the mandibular molars when compared with controls (p < 0.0001). This study shows that Cd has significant, time-dependent effects on periodontal bone in an animal model of Cd exposure. These findings support the possibility of Cd being a contributing factor to the development of periodontal disease in humans.
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