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Celiac Disease & Your Oral Health

added on: September 12, 2016

glutenCeliac disease is an autoimmune disease that causes those affected to have an adverse reaction to gluten. When these individuals eat foods containing gluten, their bodies don’t allow proper absorption and damage to the small intestine can occur. Most commonly, symptoms of celiac disease are found in the gastrointestinal tract. However, at my Holland dental office, we want to talk about some lesser known side effects of this disease and how ignoring gluten intolerance can damage your oral health.

How Does Gluten Affect the Oral Health of People with Celiac Disease?

A study by the European Journal of Internal Medicine concluded that 85% of those affected by celiac disease have severe damage to their tooth enamel. How does that happen? When individuals with celiac consume gluten, their immune systems react and actually attack the small intestine. This response also blocks the absorption of Vitamin D — an essential nutrient that helps build strong bones and protects tooth enamel. When the enamel diminishes, the likelihood of cavities and other concerns greatly increases. Gluten ingestion can also lead to:

  • Canker sores
  • Excessive mucus production
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Pitted teeth
  • Misshapen teeth
  • And more


Many of the oral health problems discussed can’t be reversed, so it’s important for gluten-sensitive people to avoid eating gluten. And like everyone, it’s important to brush and floss regularly. Additionally, there are times when celiac disease doesn’t show signs in the gastrointestinal tract, but rather in the mouth first. Keeping regularly scheduled appointments with your dentist in Holland can help diagnose a potential problem early.

Does Gluten Have the Same Affect on Those Without Celiac Disease?

It’s important to know that those with a diagnosed gluten intolerance, gluten sensitivity, or celiac disease are the main people affected by these negative oral health complications. The way their immune systems work does not allow gluten to be absorbed normally. If you’re concerned about gluten and are interested in exploring a gluten-free diet, please talk to your physician first.

If your teeth have suffered enamel loss, are discolored, or you’ve been told they may fall out, whether because of celiac disease or not, you do have options. Schedule an appointment at my dental office in Holland to discuss restorative dentistry options or cosmetic dentistry treatments.

Accepting patients from Holland, Saugatuck, Zeeland.

Posted In: Oral Health

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