Basic Research| Volume 47, ISSUE 4, P600-605, April 2021

Influence of a High-fat Diet in the Progression of Apical Periodontitis

Published:December 29, 2020DOI:



      This study evaluated the effects of a high-fat diet (HFD) on the progression of apical periodontitis (AP) in rats.


      Eight-week old Wistar rats (N = 24) were included in this study. Half of the animals received an HFD and the other half a control diet (CD). AP lesions were induced 8 weeks later by creating pulp exposure of the mandibular left first molars. The animal’s body mass was verified on a weekly basis. After 21 and 40 days, the animals were sacrificed. Blood was collected for biochemical tests, and the liver was removed for hepatic triglycerides analysis. The left hemimandibles were removed, radiographed, and then prepared for histologic evaluation. The right hemimandibles (region near molars) were removed for bone mineral density analysis by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.


      Radiographs showed that AP lesions were significantly larger in the HFD group compared with the CD group (P < .05). Histologic analysis confirmed that the AP lesions were larger and revealed a more severe inflammatory infiltrate in the HFD group. Bone mineral density was reduced in the HFD group compared with the CD groups (P < .05). The HFD resulted in a significant increase in body mass (P < .05), liver mass (P < .05), relative liver mass (P < .05), and hepatic triglycerides (P < .05). The levels of triglycerides and very–low-density lipoprotein were significantly higher in the 40-day HFD group compared with the 21-day HFD and 21- and 40-day CD groups (P < .05).


      Findings suggest that an HFD can influence the progression and severity of AP.

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