Celiac disease is a chronic condition in the human body that causes a digestive disorder in which the body is unable to tolerate gluten. A study of the disease shows that it is much more common in women and children than in men. And research in Northern America shows that one percent of its population may have the disease and 90% of those that have it may not have been diagnosed.
Consumption of gluten, for someone who has the disease, damages small protrusions called villi in the small intestines. Destruction of these protrusions results in malnutrition problems, digestive issues, and a host of other problems. This much you probably already know. What you may not know about celiac disease is that it can also create major damage to teeth and gums. Here’s a look at what that means.
Celiac and the Dental Disasters it Brings
Dental problems are far from the only issues that come with those suffering from celiac disease. It can cause infertility and sexual dysfunctions in both men and women, and for some people the disease can cause dermatitis herpetiformis, which is an intensely itchy rash that grows on the skin. Other symptoms of the disease include; anemia, extreme weakness, osteoporosis and menstrual irregularities.
Strangely, these are often the symptoms that people are most familiar with. What they don’t realize is just how bad celiac can be for your dental health.
Several major dental issues can stem from celiac disease, so those suffering from its symptoms are urged to make frequent visits to dentists. The flaws it causes appear similar to the ones caused by overuse of fluoride, or certain early childhood illnesses. The following are dental abnormalities caused by the celiac disease.
- Celiac disease can cause damage to the enamel of the teeth
According to the National Institute of Health, celiac disease distorts the permanent dentition of the teeth causing a poor formation of the enamel. Since the disease is hereditary you are also likely to find that the relatives of the one with the disease also have damaged enamels. Also, a hiatus in the enamel and dentin formation can occur at the development stage, which coincides with the gastrointestinal symptoms. The disease also discolors the teeth. It turns the teeth yellow or makes the teeth have brown spots. This condition remains permanent to the affected even after adopting a gluten-free diet.
- It causes pitting or banding of teeth
Pitting means that the disease makes hollow indents on the surface of the teeth. According to Dr. Man Dinh Nguyen, DDS, of Absolute Dental in Las Vegas, it destroys the solid teeth without damaging the cells. Banding means that the forming of visible stripes of different colors. The defects are accompanied by the turning of teeth to appear translucent. Following the damage to the immune system, these defects are thought to be caused by nutritional disturbances. These defects are considered as major signals, which help doctors distinguish patients suffering from the celiac disease.
- Severely damage the incisors and molars
This happens mostly because the defects are symmetrical and they mostly damage these sets of teeth. Dentists consider using bonding, veneers, and other cosmetic solutions to cover these damages.
- The disease may also cause sequential dental problems before reaching its mature stage
For adults, dental problems experienced in earlier years might be a railroad for the maturity of the disease. This theory originates from the similarity in histories of patients diagnosed with the disease. Different patients admit to having dental problems such as repeated cavities, root canals, and infections in their prior years.
- Cause calcium deficiency in teeth
Calcium deficiency causes teeth to decay. It is the most notorious condition that contributes to tooth loss. To children, the condition causes a delay in tooth formation.
- The disease causes mouth sores
Celiac disease damages the soft tissue areas in the body like the mouth. The sores are similar to oral ulcers commonly known as canker sores.
- There may also be some deformity in the shape of teeth in severe cases
Benefits of gluten-free foods to boost the body’s immunity
It is important for patients who have celiac disease to ensure they feed on gluten-free foods. This can help minimize damages in the body from the disease, including the damage done to teeth and gums noted above. Educate yourself regarding the latest in gluten-free options and stay healthy!
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