How Celiac Disease Affects Dental Health
- Author Ema Dental
- Published December 15, 2021
- Word count 539
According to The National Institutes of Health, more than 3 million Americans have Celiac Disease. This prevalent auto-immune disorder is triggered by gluten, which is a protein often found in wheat, barley, and rye. As a result, patients are encouraged to adopt a gluten-free diet to avoid damage to the small intestine that results in fatigue, diarrhea, anemia, and other serious health complications. What many aren’t aware of, however, is the link between this condition and poor dental health. To learn more, read on!
So, How Does Celiac Disease Affect Dental Health?
Since Celiac Disease largely affects the small intestine and digestion, it may not seem like your smile is in jeopardy. However, experts at the Celiac Disease Foundation have shared important research showing that dental enamel defects, delayed dental development, and cavities are a few oral health problems associated with this auto-immune disorder. Furthermore, patients who don’t maintain a gluten-free diet are at-risk for mouth cancers. As a result, it’s of the utmost importance to prioritize oral care.
A Few Tips for Protecting Your Smile from Home
Dental problems, like cavities, don’t just wreak havoc on the look of your smile; the function is compromised in the process. That’s why it’s crucial to commit to a solid oral hygiene routine. A great place to start is at home by:
• Brushing for two full minutes with a fluoride toothpaste both morning and night.
• Flossing and rinsing with mouthwash daily.
• Filling your diet with nutrient-dense foods.
• Quitting unhealthy dental habits, like smoking.
• Drinking plenty of water.
• Not consuming sugar in excess.
The Importance of Routine Dental Checkups and Cleanings
Even the most diligent brushers and flossers have an ultimately incomplete oral hygiene regimen if they don’t visit their dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning. Although they may seem insignificant at first glance, they can actually be lifesaving. That’s because the examination portion of these visits screen for oral cancer. Since patients with Celiac Disease have a higher risk of developing mouth cancers, these routine visits are extremely important. Not to mention that a skilled dentist can treat dental problems when they are minor, clean the hard-to-reach areas of your mouth effectively, and remove built-up plaque and tartar.
Common Symptoms of Celiac Disease to Look Out For
Sadly, many Americans with Celiac Disease go undiagnosed for years because they are unaware of the common symptoms. To prevent that from happening to you or a loved one, keep an eye out for the below:
Symptoms of Celiac Disease in Children
• Persistent diarrhea
• Swollen belly
Symptoms of Celiac Disease in Adults
• Weight loss
• Abdominal pain
Treating Celiac Disease
If any of the above symptoms are present, then it’s important to talk to your primary care physician. From there, they can guide you through the next best steps, like removing gluten from your diet. Just remember to keep your dentist in the loop. After all, common symptoms like dry mouth and canker sores can wreak havoc on your oral health. Fortunately, they can help you form a plan to keep your teeth and gums happy and healthy both now and for years to come!
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