Occlusion is known to influence the growth and development of the craniofacial complex. However, the consequences of occlusal hypofunction, or its recovery, on the amount of formation and development of alveolar bone and the jaw are not fully understood. Therefore, the present study was designed to elucidate the relationship between the occlusal stimuli and alveolar and jaw bone growth by the use of a hypofunction/recovered occlusal function model in growing rats. Bone histomorphometric analyses, including bone apposition rate and mineral apposition rate, were evaluated in double-labeled frontal sections of mandibular second molars. Results showed that occlusal hypofunction significantly suppressed alveolar and jaw bone formation compared with that in animals growing normally (p < 0.05). However, recovered occlusal function induced an enhancement in jaw bone formation. These results indicate the influence of occlusal function on alveolar and jaw bone formation during the growth period.
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