Celiac Disease: What Your Dentist Wants You To Know

24 June 2015
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


According to the Celiac Disease Awareness Campaign, a trip to the dental office was the first step in discovery of celiac for some people. The reason for this is because, even though celiac disease is a condition of the intestines, it can cause severe dental enamel defects that may be discovered first by a dentist.

Here are a few things your dentist may tell you if he or she suspects you have celiac disease:

Defects in your dental enamel

Depending on when you developed celiac disease and the severity of your condition, the enamel may have grooves or bands where it is thinner than normal. There may be pits that can cause sensitivity to heat and cold. The enamel may be mottled with white, brown or yellow spots.

The reason for these defects in celiac disease patients is because of the inability for the intestines to absorb the nutrients that are necessary for teeth and overall health.

Defects in your tongue

People with celiac often have atrophic glossitis. An atrophic condition is one in which the tissues break down and are reabsorbed. In celiac patients, this happens because the immune system attacks the papillae of the tongue, which are the small bumps on the sides and top. Glossitis is the inflammation of the tongue. Essentially, those who have atrophic glossitis have tongues that are swollen and red with a smooth and shiny surface.

Unfortunately, both of these defects are permanent. Since the enamel defects are permanent, changing to a gluten-free diet after being diagnosed with celiac may improve the condition of your tongue but will not improve your teeth. You may need cosmetic dentistry to achieve a healthy smile.

Cosmetic dentistry

Due to the irreversible damage to the enamel, many people with celiac choose to improve their appearance with cosmetic bonding or porcelain veneers. Fortunately, these treatments can provide more than an esthetic improvement. They can help reduce the sensitivity you may have to heat and cold.

Cosmetic dentistry treatments can also help reduce your continuing risks of further enamel erosion that could lead to pain if the dentin inside your teeth are exposed. Your dentist may provide you with several other cosmetic treatment options, based on your previous dental history and current dental and oral health.

Your dentist will likely refer you to your primary care physician. Since celiac disease patients need to avoid gluten completely, it is important that you inform your dentist if you are diagnosed with the condition because some dental care products may contain gluten.

To learn more, contact a company like Adam Dental Clinic dentures with any questions you have.