Celiac Disease and Oral Health


Loaf of sliced brown bread, isolated on white, macro over white

Loaf of sliced brown bread, isolated on white, macro over white

Celiac disease doesn’t just affect your digestive health, but it can also damage your oral health.

Celiac disease is a chronic digestive disorder found in about 1% of the U.S. population, including kids. A person with celiac disease is unable to tolerate gluten, a protein found in wheat, oats, rye, and barley. When someone with this allergy eats gluten, there is a reaction by their small intestine, which can cause some serious problems if left untreated.

Some effects of celiac disease are often caught by dentists, because people affected can have dental abnormalities. This condition can damage the enamel, causing discoloration of teeth varying from brown to yellow or clear spots. These symptoms can be noticed when a child grows their permanent teeth.

Recurring canker sores in both kids and adults can point to celiac disease as well. Canker sores, or mouth ulcers, are painful breakouts that can appear inside your mouth. These sores will usually clear up on their own within two weeks. If you or your child develops a canker sore, there are over-the-counter topical anesthetics and antimicrobial mouthwashes available to provide temporary relief.

Celiac disease can also lead to dry mouth, which can make you prone to tooth decay and cavities. Dry mouth can cause oral health problems due to less saliva available to wash away bacteria and food debris. To avoid dry mouth, drink plenty of water during the day and keep a humidifier in your room while you sleep.

If you think you or your child may be affected by celiac disease, make an appointment with your pediatrician.

If you suffer from celiac disease, you won’t just need to watch your gluten-free diet. You’ll also need to pay extra special attention to your oral health. If you have any questions, concerns, or are in need of tips for keeping up with celiac teeth, feel free to contact us at PDGNY!