The aim of the study was to investigate the changes in gingival blood flow due to orthodontic forces. Eleven volunteers, with the maxillary canine in an ectopic position were tested. A Laser Doppler Flowmeter (LDF) with a gingival probe was used, registering both the blood flow and temperature of the gingivae. After baseline measurement, a fixed orthodontic appliance was bonded. Measurements were repeated monthly, after activation of the appliance. The study lasted 6 months. The baseline value was 338.7 ± 201.56 P.U. [Perfusion Unit (mean ± S.D.)] which decreased to 218.9 ± 74.83 P.U. (p < 0.05) after two months and the final value of 363.9 ± 194.86 P.U was not significantly different from that initially (p > 0.5). The results showed that application of a force of 75 g resulted in a decrease in gingival blood flow up to 50%, but this returned to previous values after a few months. The study supports this measurement technique as a useful tool for monitoring gingival blood flow in long-term studies as well.
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