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Can Celiac Disease Damage Your Teeth?

You know your smile faces threats from every direction: coffee stains, cavities, and sensitivity, just to name a few. But you may not realize that a gluten intolerance known as Celiac disease may pose the biggest threat of all. What exactly is Celiac disease, and how can you protect your smile against its side effects?

What Is Celiac Disease?

Your immune system is designed to work with your body to protect against foreign invaders, but for people with Celiac disease, that’s not always the case. 

 

Celiac disease is a severe autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack itself as soon as gluten enters the digestive system. Gluten is a common protein found in barley, wheat, and rye. Most people without Celiac disease can digest gluten without any problems. However, inside the bodies of the two million Americans with Celiac disease, gluten is interpreted as a foreign invader. 

 

This triggers a strong immune response that attacks the small intestine every time gluten enters the body. These attacks make it harder for the small intestine to absorb essential nutrients. Over time, untreated Celiac disease creates serious health complications:

  • Two times greater risk of coronary artery disease
  • Four times greater risk of small bowel cancers
  • Development of other autoimmune disorders like type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Autoimmune thyroid disease

 

Unfortunately, the later that Celiac disease is diagnosed, the more damage it causes. Toddlers diagnosed with Celiac disease have a 10% chance of developing another autoimmune condition, while adults diagnosed with Celiac disease for the first time have more than a 30% chance of developing another autoimmune disease.  

Signs You May Be at Risk of Celiac Disease Damage

Given the serious nature of Celiac disease, there’s great power in early diagnosis and treatment. The following symptoms, especially when they occur together, may indicate Celiac disease:

  • Loose, watery stool on a regular basis
  • Bloating due to inflammation in the digestive tract
  • Excess gas, especially after gluten consumption
  • Severe fatigue
  • Sharp drop in weight
  • Iron-deficiency anemia due to impaired nutrient absorption
  • Constipation due to poor nutrient absorption and dehydration
  • Depression
  • Itchy, blistering skin rashes

 

Although Celiac disease currently has no cure, it can be treated by sticking to a firm gluten-free diet. This involves cutting out pasta, bread, cakes, crackers, cookies, beer, sauces, and all other foods and beverages that contain wheat, barley, rye, or spelt. Even cross-contaminated foods like oats are culprits unless specifically labeled gluten-free. 

 

Adopting a gluten-free diet isn’t always easy, but it’s worth the effort. Especially when you consider the top five oral health risks for people with Celiac disease. 

The 4 Top Oral Health Risks For People With Celiac Disease

Celiac disease damage isn’t limited to the digestive system. Since the digestive system and the mouth are closely intertwined, Celiac disease is known to cause major oral health problems as well. 

 

Identifying the signs of Celiac disease in the mouth is one of the most powerful ways to diagnose the condition when it would otherwise be overlooked or confused with a different health problem. 

Enamel Defects

If Celiac disease develops when a child’s permanent teeth are still developing- usually before the age of 7- dental enamel defects are likely to occur. These enamel defects aren’t random. In fact, they’re predictable and easy to identify from their bilateral, symmetrical, and white or yellow hues. The worst enamel damage causes visible structural defects and may even change the shape of the teeth altogether. 

 

Research indicates that Celiac disease triggers this enamel damage due to an immune reaction that affects the cells that form enamel. People who develop Celiac disease as adults usually avoid enamel defects since their adult teeth grow in without interference from autoimmune reactions. 

Delayed Dental Development

Celiac disease can also be identified in children based upon delayed dental development. Young children with Celiac disease are more likely to lose their baby teeth long after their peers. Their permanent teeth also erupt much later than usual. 

Excessive Tooth Decay

Celiac disease compromises the chemical composition of primary teeth in young Celiac disease patients. This chemical change makes children with Celiac disease vulnerable to cavities and dental caries. As Celiac disease prevents the gut from absorbing nutrients, the teeth lose important minerals like calcium and phosphorous. It’s much easier for cavities to develop in teeth after minerals are leached away. 

 

Frequent Canker Sores

Canker sores, also known as aphthous ulcers, are well-documented oral manifestations of Celiac disease in children and adults alike. Research suggests that canker sores are more common in patients with Celiac disease due to deficiencies in iron, folic acid, and vitamin B12.

 

Even though canker sores are benign themselves, they’re painful and inconvenient side effects of Celiac disease. A strict gluten-free diet is the only evidence-based solution for canker sores and other Celiac disease symptoms. 

Take Control of Your Celiac Disease Now

Celiac disease is a lifetime condition, but that doesn’t mean it has to control you! If your dentist notices signs of Celiac disease at your next appointment, or if some of the common Celiac disease symptoms sound too familiar for comfort, it’s time to take action. 

 

Educate yourself on the foods and beverages that include gluten, and start cutting them out of your diet. Without gluten constantly entering your digestive system and wreaking havoc, your small intestine will have the opportunity to heal. Symptoms disappear quickly once your body is completely free of all traces of gluten. 

 

It’s also important to use vitamins and dietary supplements to overcome the nutritional deficiencies associated with Celiac disease. Fiber, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, folate, vitamin B12, and vitamin D are just a few of the essential nutrients your body may be lacking. Without them, your internal systems can’t operate at full capacity or supercharge your healing process. 

 

Your doctor will guide you through the other tests, screenings, and exams recommended for all Celiac disease patients. Make sure you also talk to your dentist and take preventative measures to protect your teeth from the effects of Celiac disease. 

 

At Ablantis Dental in Encinitas, California, Dr. Claudia Cortadi and her team are here to give you the personalized care you need to maintain a bright, healthy smile. Call 760.334.0128 or book an appointment to learn more now. 

 

Why You Need to Visit Our Dental Office Every Six Months

Here Are Six Reasons Why You Need To Visit Our Dental Office Every Six Months…

Visiting our dental office every six months is important in maintaining good oral health. Regular check-ups help keep your teeth and gums clean and prevent diseases from occurring. And everyone loves leaving the dentist with clean, shiny teeth.

1. Dental Cleaning

Even if you brush your teeth several times a day and floss regularly there are areas in the mouth that can be missed. Leftover food particles and normal mouth bacteria mix to form plaque. Plaque coats your teeth gets under the gum line and sticks to fillings. If you remove plaque regularly you can prevent this from happening. When plaque builds up it hardens and turns into tartar.

Bi-annual visits to our dental office for regular dental cleanings will help eliminate tartar and plaque build-up before it develops into cavities or gum disease. Prevention is an important part of your oral care.

2. Cavities

Cavities are damaged areas to the tooth, caused by bacteria, that result in small holes. At the beginning stages, these holes can go unnoticed. If left untreated they will grow deeper into the tooth. This may cause unbearable toothache, infection and could result in tooth loss.

It’s important to visit our dental office for regular check-ups, in order to identify cavities and to obtain necessary treatments, like fillings, so that further complications are prevented.

3. Flossing & Brushing Habits

You may be a diligent brusher and flosser but are you doing it correctly? Flossing helps remove plaque and food that your toothbrush may not reach. Plaque is the main cause of gum disease. Flossing helps prevent plaque from hardening into tartar.

Your visit to our dental office will allow hygienists the opportunity to discuss how to properly floss your teeth. It’s important to ensure that you aren’t damaging your gums, you’re reaching all of your teeth and food particles are being picked up.

Brushing after every meal is ideal but brushing in the morning and before going to bed is an excellent step in preventing tooth decay and gum disease. Proper brushing removes bacteria and plaque from your teeth.

A visit to our dental office will ensure you’re using the proper technique to brush your teeth. Protecting your gums while cleaning the surface of each tooth is important as well as the brushing pattern and the type of toothbrush used.

4. Gum Disease

Gum disease is one of the most common problems in oral health. It can develop slowly without causing discomfort, which means you may not notice symptoms until the disease is serious. Disease begins when tartar causes infection at the point where the gum meets the tooth. Tiny pockets of infection form and the gum tissue breaks down potentially leading to bone breakdown and loose teeth.

Gum disease is preventable and can be treated. With regular visits to our dental office, early stages can be identified and treated before the disease progresses. At your dental office visit, the dentist will look for signs of gum disease and provide the necessary treatment while teaching you how to check for signs of the disease.

5. X-rays

An important reason for visiting our dental office every six months is to get mouth x-rays. These images help identify cavities, check how healthy the teeth and roots are as well as the bones surrounding the teeth, check developing teeth and monitor the general health of your teeth and jawbone.

Jawbone damage, bone decay, swelling, cysts, and tumors can be identified with an x-ray. Regular x-rays and bi-annual check-ups are imperative in showing diseases that don’t show symptoms.

6. Lifestyle & Your Teeth

It’s important to be aware of how your lifestyle may impact your dental health. Smoking, eating lemons, chewing ice, teeth grinding, brushing too hard, flossing too hard, drinking red wine and drinking coffee can all have negative impacts on your teeth and gums.

Regular dental check-ups at our dental office allow your dental practitioner to check for damage caused by these types of habits. You will learn about lifestyle choices and the effects on your oral health. Visiting the dentist will help prevent further damage and assist in maintaining good habits.

Trips To Our Dental Office Keep Your Teeth Healthy & Happy!

Visiting our local dental office Ablantis Dental Office In Encinitas every six months will help ensure your teeth and gums are healthy. At Ablantis Dental in Encinitas, California, Dr. Claudia Cortadi and her team are here to give you the personalized care you need to maintain a bright, healthy smile. Call 760.334.0128 or book an appointment to learn more now. We want to identify any dental health issues before they become serious.  And we want to teach you how to care for your teeth so that you stay healthy and happy.