Celiac disease is an illness of the small intestine that affects food absorption, including the vitamins and minerals our bodies use to grow and stay healthy. People with celiac disease have a problem with foods that contain gluten. The introduction of numerous new “gluten-free” foods recently has helped call attention to celiac disease.
Sometimes a dentist is the first person to suspect that a patient might have celiac disease. That’s because tooth enamel damage can be fairly common in patients with this disease—even if the patient isn’t experiencing any other symptoms. One recent study found that an estimated 40 percent of children with celiac disease have some tooth enamel damage.
The enamel damage ranges from color variegation, to an actual rough surface to pits or deep grooves in the dentition. The teeth may be discolored with brown or yellow spots or have a translucent appearance. In severe cases, celiac disease may cause structural defects and changes to the shape of the teeth, making them more pointed or conical. In children, abnormalities commonly appear as the permanent teeth are developing.
It’s important to take action as soon as any dental signs of celiac disease are detected. As with any serious illness, early detection means less long-term damage to the body.
Angell’s Dentistry is committed to providing each of our patients with a beautiful, healthy smile and unmatched dental care. Be sure to let Dr. Angell and the dental hygienists at Angell’s Dentistry know if you or your family members who are our patients have celiac disease. We will be happy to answer your questions and suggest things you can do to minimize tooth damage, if any.
To schedule an appointment, just give our office a call, and be sure to visit our website at: www.angellsdentistry.com.