Celiac.com 10/12/2007 - A team of Dutch dentists recently conducted a study to determine if Dutch children with proven celiac disease exhibit corresponding defects in dental enamel and to gauge whether children without proven celiac disease, but showing celiac-associated gastro-intestinal complaints lack any such defects in their dental enamel.

The research team included CLAAR D. WIERINK, General dentist, DENISE E. VAN DIERMEN, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Academic Centre for Dentistry, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, IRENE H. A. AARTMAN, Department of Social Dentistry and Behavioral Sciences, Academic Centre for Dentistry, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, HUGO S. A. HEYMANS Emma Children’s Hospital, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The team was led by Claar D. Wierink, and looked at a group of 81 children, 53 who were known to have celiac disease, and 28 of whom served as a control group.

The children underwent examinations from 2003-2004 and the Oral Surgery Outpatient Clinic of the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam. 29 (55%) of the 53 children with celiac disease showed enamel defects, compared with 5 (18%) of the 28 non-celiac control subjects.

Enamel defects were diagnosed as being specific in 20 of the 53 children with celiac disease, compared with only 1 (4%) of the 28 control subjects. Overall, children with celiac disease showed more specific enamel defects than did the control subjects.

From these results, the researchers concluded that dentists might have a significant role to play in the early screening of patients who have undiagnosed celiac disease.

International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry 2007

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