You may be familiar with celiac disease, the chronic digestive disorder that makes the body completely intolerant to gluten, but are you aware of the direct connection between celiac disease and dental issues? 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 proper diagnosis.
If you have been diagnosed with celiac disease or suspect that your symptoms indicate a gluten intolerance, the best way to control and alleviate your symptoms is to understand your condition. This includes the serious dental implications of celiac disease.
What Is Celiac Disease?
Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Celiac disease causes a strong immune response to the presence of gluten. This immune response attacks the small intestine and damages the small villi that are supposed to promote nutrient absorption in the small intestine. As a result, the body fails to properly absorb the nutrients it needs to function and thrive.
If left untreated, celiac disease can lead to serious health complications as the body becomes increasingly deprived of nutrients and launches a new attack on itself every time gluten is ingested. Common symptoms of celiac disease include the following:
- Loose, watery stool or constipation
- Chronic bloating
- Excessive gas
- Decreased energy levels and fatigue
Do You Have “Celiac Teeth”?
It’s not just the small intestine that suffers from celiac disease. “Celiac teeth” is a term used to describe teeth that become damaged and decayed as a result of celiac disease. “Celiac teeth” form because the teeth are leached of their nutrients. The following signs of tooth damage indicate the presence 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
All of these symptoms occur because celiac disease robs the teeth of vitamin B12, folate, iron, and other essential nutrients.
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 any autoimmune responses and help restore the small intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients.
It is also important to work with your holistic dentist to identify the best dental treatments to respond to existing oral damage. At Natural and Cosmetic Dentistry in Clearwater, Florida, Dr. Beata A. Carlson and Associates offer holistic and cosmetic dentistry services that carefully consider your overall health and lifestyle to achieve the best results. Call 727-888-6523 today to make your appointment and improve your quality of life.
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