Search Article 
Advanced search 
Official publication of the American Biodontics Society and the Center for Research and Education in Technology
Home About us Editorial board Search Ahead of print Current issue Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 72-75

Drinking coffee may help accelerate orthodontic tooth movement

1 Department of Orthodontics, State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, West China Stomatology Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China
2 Department of Dental Implants, State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, West China Stomatology Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China

Date of Web Publication3-Sep-2012

Correspondence Address:
Yu Li
14#, 3rd Section, Renmin Nan Road, Chengdu 610 041
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: This study is supported by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 11002095), Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2155-8213.100391

Rights and Permissions

Introduction: Developing new methods to enhance orthodontic tooth movement and shorten the duration of treatment has always been desired. However, to date, no therapies have been widely used in clinics. Recent studies and feedback information from patients have shown that drinking coffee may accelerate orthodontic tooth movement. The Hypothesis: Drinking coffee, as a daily habit of many people, can be an effective accelerator of tooth movement with little side effect for caffeine can break the calcium balance in bone tissue and directly inhibit the development of osteoblasts, leading to temporary decreased bone mineral density and consequently inducing faster orthodontic tooth movement. Evaluation of the Hypothesis: Much effort has been made to explore therapies to shorten orthodontic treatment period with limited success. Daily coffee consumption may be a promising approach to enhance orthodontic tooth movement for its reversible effect on bone mineral density and calcium balance.

Keywords: Bone density, caffeine, coffee, orthodontic tooth movement

How to cite this article:
Yi J, Zhang L, Yan B, Yang L, Li Y, Zhao Z. Drinking coffee may help accelerate orthodontic tooth movement. Dent Hypotheses 2012;3:72-5

How to cite this URL:
Yi J, Zhang L, Yan B, Yang L, Li Y, Zhao Z. Drinking coffee may help accelerate orthodontic tooth movement. Dent Hypotheses [serial online] 2012 [cited 2023 Jun 5];3:72-5. Available from:

  Introduction Top

Orthodontic tooth movement (OTM), as a consequence of force-induced periodontal tissue remodeling, [1],[2] involves stretching of the periodontal ligament (PDL), deposition of the alveolar bones at the tension side coupling with compression of the PDL and resorption of the alveolar bones at the pressure side, and finally approaching a new balance within the cementum-periodontal ligament-alveolar bone complex. [3] Since the tooth movement is related to such complicated changes, the orthodontic treatment has a common period of 1-2 years, during which orthodontic devices have to be placed, making oral hygiene maintenance more difficult and time-consuming, patients are thus more vulnerable to periodontal diseases and caries. To shorten the treatment period, orthodontists never stopped exploring methods to accelerate the rate of OTM. A variety of therapies, including local application of PTH, [4] RANKL, [5] osteocalcin [6] and prostaglandins, [7] have been shown to elicit faster OTM. However, great difficulties lie in the clinical application of these agents. Moreover, using such medication will impose additional burden on patients, for example potential adverse effects.

Interestingly, feedback from some orthodontic patients demonstrates that daily intake of coffee may contribute to faster tooth movement. What is more, previous research showed that Erigeron Breviscapus, a traditional Chinese medicine which contains caffeine, the major effective component of coffee, indeed accelerated OTM. [8],[9] In this theoretical article, therefore, we hypothesize that daily coffee consumption may help enhance OTM, and consequently shorten the duration in which patients have to wear braces.

  Orthodontic Tooth Movement-Related Bone Remodeling Top

When proper orthodontic force is applied to a tooth, compression of PDL leads to an immediate but slight tooth movement due to the distortion of the extracellular matrix of PDL and changes of the cellular shape and cytoskeletal configuration, and then tooth movement pauses for a few days, during which the necrotic tissue emerges at the compression side owing to acute inflammation in response to biomechanical forces. [10],[11],[12] At the compression side, osteoclast progenitors disseminate into bone from blood, proliferate and differentiate by interaction with osteoblasts, inducing the early bone resorption. After the necrotic tissue eliminated, osteoclasts in periodontal space resorb the alveolar bone on the compression side, and the tooth then moves at a consistent rate. [12] As bone remodeling is the essential biological process in OTM, [13],[14] and lower bone mineral density (BMD) can lead to faster bone remodeling, [15] decreased BMD may well elicit accelerated OTM. [16]

  Caffeine-Induced Temporary Decrease of BMD Top

Caffeine (1, 3, 7-methylxanthine), a member of the methylxanthine family, is the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance with its presence in coffee, tea, and carbonated drinks like cola. [17] Many studies have shown that caffeine consumption is related to low bone density. [18],[19],[20],[21] The mechanisms, however, are complicated.

Evidence has suggested that caffeine consumption increases the urinary calcium excretion. [22] The loss of calcium induced by caffeine has been verified to be the consequence of reduction in renal reabsorption [23] caused by its antagonism to adenosine, which plays an important role in the tubuloglomerular feedback response as a mediator, and this antagonism has been identified to be brought about by caffeine's structural similarity with adenosine. [24],[25] Caffeine offsets the effect of adenosine via up-regulating the enzyme adenylyl cyclase, then increasing intracellular cAMP concentration and consequently activating the kinase A protein (PKA), [26] finally leads to the calcium loss via urine. Low concentration of serum calcium produced by the mechanism stated above promotes the secretion of parathyroid hormone (PTH) which stimulates bone mineral content to dissolve into blood and thus brings about a reduction in BMD. However, long-term caffeine administration induces an elevation in intestinal calcium absorption through the enhancement in 1,25-(OH) 2 -D production, which brings the calcium balance back to normal, [20] indicating the decreased bone density may be temporary and return to the normal levels through neuro-humoral regulation.

In addition to the systemic regulation on calcium metabolism, caffeine can directly inhibit the developmental processes of osteoblasts, which includes proliferation, followed by matrix maturation and mineralization, [27] results in the lack of activated osteoblast and consequently bring about decreased BMD. [28] A lot of studies have been carried out to elucidate the mechanism underlying caffeine-induced inhibitory effect on osteoblasts. Previous work found that caffeine through two ways increases the concentration of intracellular cAMP, an upstream mediator to down-regulate osteoblast proliferation; [29] firstly caffeine inhibits the phosphodiesterase which breaks cAMP down, [30],[31] and secondly caffeine induces an enhancement in prostaglandin E 2 (PGE 2 ) output in vitro[32] and in vivo. [33] High concentration of PGE 2 can increase intracellular cAMP in osteoblasts and has also been reported to up-regulates osteoclasts activity [34] and inhibits collagen synthesis, [35],[36] leading to faster bone resorption and slower bone deposition. [37],[38] What is more, caffeine has been shown to decrease the expression of vitamin D receptor (VDR) on the surface of osteoblast cells; and VDR plays an essential role in the pathway through which 1,25-(OH) 2 -D 3 modulates osteoblast proliferation, differentiation and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity. [39] Tassinari et al. further found that when osteoblasts were treated with caffeine in a relatively low concentration (0.1 and 0.2 mM), the decreased ALP activity and collagen synthesis that lead to an altered extracellular matrix incompetent for mineralization return to normal levels despite the consistent caffeine interference, indicating that caffeine's negative effect on the development of osteoblast is rather a delay than complete inhibition. [40]

  The Hypothesis Top

Caffeine widely exists in coffee and other psychoactive beverage for its stimulation effect and has never been identified to promote OTM. Hereby, we put forward a hypothesis that merely drinking coffee may potentially be an effective and safe accelerator for OTM through caffeine-induced temporary low bone density.

The hypothesis is based on the following three points: (1) Caffeine interrupts the calcium balance in bone tissue, leading to low bone density, and this can be compensated by increasing the intestinal calcium absorption through neuro-humoral regulation. [20] (2) When exposed to an appropriate dosage of caffeine, the development of osteoblast cells can be delayed, inducing low BMD, and return to normal despite continuous exposure. [40] (3) Low BMD accelerates the bone remodeling and thus shortens the duration of orthodontic treatment. [13],[14],[15],[16]

  Evaluation of the Hypothesis Top

Since orthodontic treatment has a common duration of 1-2 years, and it imposes heavy burden of maintaining oral hygiene and great risk of periodontal diseases and caries on patients, reducing the time needed for orthodontic treatment is always being pursued by orthodontists. Previously, investigated therapies may be able to promote OTM; however, the negative impacts on patients and difficulties in clinical operation discouraged their extensive application in clinics. Therefore, drinking coffee has the potentiality to be an unprecedentedly simple and convenient approach to raise the velocity of tooth movement because this daily habit adds little extra burden to patients and has the ability to reduce bone density, more importantly, its effect on bone metabolism is temporary and reversible.

To bring the hypothesized treatment from lab to clinics, the appropriate consumption of coffee intake should be further explored through clinical trials because that Tassinari's research [40] on rat has shown that only the comparatively low concentration caffeine elicits a delay rather than an irreversible inhibition on osteoblasts, moreover, the period of tooth movement cycle and the half-life of caffeine are different between human and rats. Further, studies to investigate the likelihood of adverse effect on tissues other than kidney and jaw bone which are the primary desirable targets of caffeine when exposed to the effective concentration of caffeine need to be conducted to ensure its safety. And in clinical contexts, specific plans to carry out the caffeine therapy must be designed by orthodontists, for orthodontic treatment is highly individualized; for example patients with low BMD may have a tendency to relapse, so wearing retainers for a period of time after orthodontic treatment is necessary for them to help stabilize new occlusion and strengthen cementum-periodontal ligament-alveolar bone complex.

  References Top

1.Mabuchi R, Matsuzaka K, Shimono M. Cell proliferation and cell death in periodontal ligaments during orthodontic tooth movement. J Periodontal Res 2002;37:118-24.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Krishnan V, Davidovitch Z. Cellular, molecular, and tissue-level reactions to orthodontic force. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2006;129:469 e1-32.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Chen Y, Cao Z, Zhang L, Xu X. Low level laser can be a novel adjuvant method for orthodontic tooth movement on postmenopausal women. Med Hypotheses 2011;76:479-81.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Soma S, Iwamoto M, Higuchi Y, Kurisu K. Effects of continuous infusion of PTH on experimental tooth movement in rats. J Bone Miner Res 1999;14:546-54.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Kanzaki H, Chiba M, Arai K, Takahashi I, Haruyama N, Nishimura M, et al. Local RANKL gene transfer to the periodontal tissue accelerates orthodontic tooth movement. Gene Ther 2006;13:678-85.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Hashimoto F, Kobayashi Y, Mataki S, Kobayashi K, Kato Y, Sakai H. Administration of osteocalcin accelerates orthodontic tooth movement induced by a closed coil spring in rats. Eur J Orthod 2001;23:535-45.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Lee WC. Experimental study of the effect of prostaglandin administration on tooth movement-with particular emphasis on the relationship to the method of PGE1 administration. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 1990;98:231-41.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Shen G, Liu K. A biomechanical analysis for the effect of EB iontophoresis on accelerating tooth movement of human canines [In Chinese]. J Appl Biomech 1994;9:95-8.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Liu CG, Huang SG, Lin TY, Feng DY, Huang P, Zhang JX. Effect of Erigeron Breviscapus on the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor in the periodontal tissues of rabbits during orthodontic tooth movement [In Chinese]. Hua Xi Kou Qiang Yi Xue Za Zhi 2006;24:458-61.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Leung FY, Rabie AB, Wong RW. Osteoporosis, osteonecrosis, and orthodontics. World J Orthod 2009;10:261-71.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Knop LA, Shintcovsk RL, Retamoso LB, Ribeiro JS, Tanaka OM. Non-steroidal and steroidal anti-inflammatory use in the context of orthodontic movement. Eur J Orthod 2011. [In press]  Back to cited text no. 11
12.Reitan K. Clinical and histologic observations on tooth movement during and after orthodontic treatment. Am J Orthod 1967;53:721-45.  Back to cited text no. 12
13.Hill PA. Bone remodelling. Br J Orthod 1998;25:101-7.  Back to cited text no. 13
14.Hill PA, Tumber A, Meikle MC. Multiple extracellular signals promote osteoblast survival and apoptosis. Endocrinology 1997;138:3849-58.  Back to cited text no. 14
15.Cosman F, Nieves J, Wilkinson C, Schnering D, Shen V, Lindsay R. Bone density change and biochemical indices of skeletal turnover. Calcif Tissue Int 1996;58:236-43.  Back to cited text no. 15
16.Tyrovola JB, Spyropoulos MN. Effects of drugs and systemic factors on orthodontic treatment. Quintessence Int 2001;32:365-71.  Back to cited text no. 16
17.Barone JJ, Roberts HR. Caffeine consumption. Food Chem Toxicol 1996;34:119-29.  Back to cited text no. 17
18.Heaney RP. Effects of caffeine on bone and the calcium economy. Food Chem Toxicol 2002;40:1263-70.  Back to cited text no. 18
19.Valdes M, Shaye R, Joseph F, Jr, Nakamoto T. The effects of caffeine on the maxillary composition in the newborn rat. Calcif Tissue Int 1992;50:165-8.  Back to cited text no. 19
20.Yeh JK, Aloia JF. Differential effect of caffeine administration on calcium and vitamin D metabolism in young and adult rats. J Bone Miner Res 1986;1:251-8.  Back to cited text no. 20
21.Sakamoto W, Nishihira J, Fujie K, Iizuka T, Handa H, Ozaki M, et al. Effect of coffee consumption on bone metabolism. Bone 2001;28:332-6.  Back to cited text no. 21
22.Heaney RP, Recker RR. Effects of nitrogen, phosphorus, and caffeine on calcium balance in women. J Lab Clin Med 1982;99:46-55.  Back to cited text no. 22
23.Bergman EA, Massey LK, Wise KJ, Sherrard DJ. Effects of dietary caffeine on renal handling of minerals in adult women. Life Sci 1990;47:557-64.  Back to cited text no. 23
24.Massey LK, Whiting SJ. Caffeine, urinary calcium, calcium metabolism and bone. J Nutr 1993;123:1611-4.  Back to cited text no. 24
25.Osswald H, Muhlbauer B, Schenk F. Adenosine mediates tubuloglomerular feedback response: An element of metabolic control of kidney function. Kidney Int Suppl 1991;32:S128-31.  Back to cited text no. 25
26.Yeh JK, Aloia JF, Semla HM, Chen SY. Influence of injected caffeine on the metabolism of calcium and the retention and excretion of sodium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and copper in rats. J Nutr 1986;116:273-80.  Back to cited text no. 26
27.Stein GS, Lian JB, Stein JL, Van Wijnen AJ, Montecino M. Transcriptional control of osteoblast growth and differentiation. Physiol Rev 1996;76:593-629.  Back to cited text no. 27
28.Fernandez MJ, Lopez A, Santa-Maria A. Apoptosis induced by different doses of caffeine on Chinese hamster ovary cells. J Appl Toxicol 2003;23:221-4.  Back to cited text no. 28
29.Kamagata-Kiyoura Y, Ohta M, Cheuk G, Yazdani M, Saltzman MJ, Nakamoto T. Combined effects of caffeine and prostaglandin E2 on the proliferation of osteoblast-like cells (UMR106-01). J Periodontol 1999;70:283-8.  Back to cited text no. 29
30.Fredholm BB. On the mechanism of action of theophylline and caffeine. Acta Med Scand 1985;217:149-53.  Back to cited text no. 30
31.Butcher RW, Sutherland EW. Adenosine 3',5'-phosphate in biological materials. I. Purification and properties of cyclic 3',5'-nucleotide phosphodiesterase and use of this enzyme to characterize adenosine 3',5'-phosphate in human urine. J Biol Chem 1962;237:1244-50.  Back to cited text no. 31
32.Naderali EK, Poyser NL. Effects of caffeine and theophylline on prostaglandin production by guinea-pig endometrium. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 1997;56:63-7.  Back to cited text no. 32
33.Whiting SJ. Effect of prostaglandin inhibition on caffeine-induced hypercalciuria in healthy women. J Nutr Biochem 1990;1:201-5.  Back to cited text no. 33
34.Hakeda Y, Yoshino T, Natakani Y, Kurihara N, Maeda N, Kumegawa M. Prostaglandin E2 stimulates DNA synthesis by a cyclic AMP-independent pathway in osteoblastic clone MC3T3-E1 cells. J Cell Physiol 1986;128:155-61.  Back to cited text no. 34
35.Raisz LG, Koolemans-Beynen AR. Inhibition of bone collagen synthesis by prostaglandin E2 in organ culture. Prostaglandins 1974;8:377-85.  Back to cited text no. 35
36.Wahl LM, Lampel LL. Regulation of human peripheral blood monocyte collagenase by prostaglandins and anti-inflammatory drugs. Cell Immunol 1987;105:411-22.  Back to cited text no. 36
37.Klein DC, Raisz LG. Prostaglandins: Stimulation of bone resorption in tissue culture. Endocrinology 1970;86:1436-40.  Back to cited text no. 37
38.Hakeda Y, Nakatani Y, Hiramatsu M, Kurihara N, Tsunoi M, Ikeda E, et al. Inductive effects of prostaglandins on alkaline phosphatase in osteoblastic cells, clone MC3T3-E1. J Biochem 1985;97:97-104.  Back to cited text no. 38
39.Rapuri PB, Gallagher JC, Nawaz Z. Caffeine decreases vitamin D receptor protein expression and 1,25(OH)2D3 stimulated alkaline phosphatase activity in human osteoblast cells. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 2007;103:368-71.  Back to cited text no. 39
40.Tassinari MS, Gerstenfeld LC, Stein GS, Lian JB. Effect of caffeine on parameters of osteoblast growth and differentiation of a mineralized extracellular matrix in vitro. J Bone Miner Res 1991;6:1029-36.  Back to cited text no. 40

This article has been cited by
1 Effect of Caffeine Injection on Orthodontic Tooth Movement in Rats: An Experimental Study on Rats
Amin Golshah, Khaled Omidi, Nafiseh Nikkerdar, Fatemeh Ghorbani, Li Wu Zheng
International Journal of Dentistry. 2022; 2022: 1
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Effect of Methotrexate Injection on Orthodontic Tooth Movement: An Experimental Study on Rats
Amin Golshah, Khaled Omidi, Nafiseh Nikkerdar, Hedaiat Moradpoor, Fatemeh Ghorbani, Alejandro Pelaez Vargas
International Journal of Dentistry. 2021; 2021: 1
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Effect of caffeine in chocolate (Theobroma cacao) on the alveolar bone mineral density in guinea pigs (Cavia cobaya) with orthodontic tooth movement
Bramita Beta Arnanda,Sri Suparwitri,Pinandi Sri Pudyani
Dental Journal (Majalah Kedokteran Gigi). 2020; 53(3): 164
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
4 Local use of iontophoresis with traditional Chinese herbal medicine, e.g., Gu-Sui-Bu (Rhizoma Drynariae) may accelerate orthodontic tooth movement
Li, Y.
Dental Hypotheses. 2013; 4(2): 50-52


Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

  In this article
Orthodontic Toot...
The Hypothesis
Evaluation of th...

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded1113    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 4    

Recommend this journal