Celiac Disease and Dental Health

Man holding stomach to show connection between celiac disease and dental health

Celiac Disease and Dental Health

According to recent studies, one in every 141 Americans is currently living with celiac disease, while another two million people are suffering the symptoms without a formal diagnosis. You may be familiar with celiac disease, but you may not be aware of the direct connection between celiac disease and dental health. At Prescott Dentistry, we want you to be aware of this connection, because as a holistic dental practice we are passionate about both your dental health and your overall health.

What Is Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease is a chronic autoimmune disorder in which the body becomes intolerant to gluten. Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Celiac disease causes a strong immune response when gluten is ingested. This immune response attacks the small intestine and damages the villi, fingerlike projections in the small intestine that are responsible for nutrient absorption. As a result, the body fails to properly absorb the nutrients it needs to function properly. If left untreated, celiac disease can lead to serious health complications. Common symptoms of celiac disease include the following:

  • Loose, watery stool or constipation
  • Chronic bloating
  • Excessive gas
  • Decreased energy levels and fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Anemia
  • Loss of bone density
  • Joint pain
  • Heartburn

The Connection Between Celiac Disease and Dental Health

Celiac disease affects the whole body, including the mouth. “Celiac teeth” is a term used to describe teeth that become damaged and decayed as a result of celiac disease. This happens as vitamin B12, folate, iron, and other essential nutrients are leached from the teeth because the body is malnourished. The following signs of oral health damage are signs of celiac disease:

  • Grooves, bands, or pits on the teeth
  • White, brown, or yellow spots on the teeth
  • Teeth that have a translucent appearance
  • Altered shape and structure of the teeth
  • A dry or burning sensation on the tongue

How to Protect Your Mouth From Celiac Disease

Though the effects of celiac disease on the mouth are concerning, it is possible to protect your mouth and preserve your teeth. The first and most important step is to remove gluten from your diet. A strict gluten-free diet will prevent the autoimmune response and help restore the small intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients.

It is also important to work with your holistic dentist when considering celiac disease and dental health. We can help you identify the best dental treatments to respond to existing oral damage. At Prescott Dentistry, we offer holistic and cosmetic dentistry services that carefully consider your overall health and lifestyle. Contact us today to make an appointment and keep your smile looking its best.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (3/25/2019) Pixaby