Celiac Teeth: Celiac Disease & Oral Health

Living with Celiac disease traditionally means a wheat-free diet, but it may require you to alter your oral care habits as well. Due to the gastrointestinal problems caused by the condition, "Celiac teeth" are more prone to decay, so you have to do a bit more to protect your enamel. Other dental issues associated with Celiac disease include dry mouth, canker sores and even oral cancer. Here are some tips to ease your symptoms.

1. Dental Enamel Damage

It's common for people with Celiac disease to experience white, yellow or brown spots on their teeth's enamel. The enamel may even develop poorly, incur pitting or banding and appear translucent, according to the Celiac Disease Awareness Campaign. Sometimes, a dentist will be able to pinpoint Celiac disease as the root cause of your dental issues before you're even diagnosed with the condition. Although the dental effects of Celiac are irreversible, your dentist may be able to enhance the appearance of your teeth with veneers or other cosmetic restorations.

2. Chronic Canker Sores

Recurrent canker sores or mouth ulcers are another nuisance for those with Celiac disease. These painful breakouts appear on the inside of your lips or cheeks, on your tongue, at the base of your gums or on the roof of your mouth. Research hasn't yet proven what causes them in every case, though it may have something to do with the body's immune system. No matter what the cause, avoid spicy and acidic foods that can irritate your mouth, instead eating simple, plain-flavored meals until your canker sores aren't a bother to you anymore. If the sores are especially large or painful, check with your dentist about treating it with a prescribed medication.

3. Dry Mouth Syndrome

According to Dr. Alexander Shikhman, celiac disease could also lead to dry mouth, the symptoms of which make you more susceptible to tooth decay and cavities because you have less saliva to wash away bacteria and food debris. Drink plenty of water during the day keep your mouth hydrated and keep a humidifier in your room while you sleep to prevent your mouth from drying out. Consider the use of a saliva substitute, as well as a prescription toothpaste such as Colgate® PreviDent® 5000 Dry Mouth, both of which are made especially for dry mouth so they won't aggravate your condition.

In addition to following a gluten-free diet, Celiac teeth require equally special attention, so you need to be just as mindful of your oral health. Follow these tips and work with a knowledgeable dental professional to keep your overall health in excellent shape despite this dietary limitation.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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During acid reflux episodes, small amounts of stomach acid travel into your mouth and can damage the enamel (outer layer of the tooth) as well as the dentin (layer on teeth under the enamel and on the root surface of teeth). In addition, the stomach acid often irritates the lining of the esophagus.