Have Celiac Disease? Your Dentist Should Know

March 28, 2016
March 28, 2016

According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, roughly on in approximately 100 people have celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disorder. When people who are affected ingest gluten, their small intestine is exposed to serious damage. Many people may not even know they have the condition until they are between the ages of 30 and 60.

For many people, a diagnosis of celiac disease will mean having to make adjustments to diet. If you have been diagnosed, you should let your dentist know, and here’s why.

Celiac and Your Mouth

The American Dental Association reports that when your dentist is aware of your condition, he or she can better help you. In fact, even if you haven’t been diagnosed, there are items a dentist can look for that can indicate you may need to get tested. Celiac disease can manifest in the following ways:

  • There is a delay in the eruption of the teeth in children.
  • There could be dental enamel defects in both baby teeth and permanent teeth.
  • Teeth could be discolored or have brown or yellow spots
  • Teeth could appear translucent in places.

Though rare, it is possible that changes in the mouth are the only indicator that someone has celiac disease.

Diagnosing and Treating Celiac

If you or your dentist suspects you may have celiac, you should speak with your physician. It is likely that he or she will order a blood test. You may need to eat gluten, take the test and then go gluten-free in order to get an accurate diagnosis.

There is really only one way to treat celiac disease, and that is through eliminating foods and beverages that have gluten in them. Gluten is found in rye, barley, wheat or any foods that are made with those grains. It is imperative that people with celiac read food labels to make sure that these substances are absent from the ingredients list. Further, processed foods should always have a disclaimer on them stating that they are gluten-free in order to be deemed safe for those who with celiac.

There is no cure for this condition, so the dietary changes should be considered lifelong. Fortunately, with today’s technology and information-sharing capabilities, there are plenty of recipes people can use to recreate their favorite foods without using gluten ingredients.

Here at Aten & Garofalo Family Dentistry, we want to provide you with comprehensive care so you are the healthiest you can be. If you have questions about this topic or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at 704-540-4252.

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