Celiac.com 08/23/2013 - Previous studies have noted the presence of dental enamel defects in people with celiac disease.

Photo: CC--mmmcraftsA team of researchers recently set out to study the prevalence of dental enamel defects in adults with celiac disease, and to determine if there is in fact a connection between the grade of teeth lesion and clinical parameters present at the time of diagnosis of celiac disease.

The research team included L.Trotta, F. Biagi, P.I. Bianchi, A. Marchese, C. Vattiato, D. Balduzzi, V. Collesano, and G.R. Corazza.

They are affiliated with the Coeliac Centre/First Department of Internal Medicine at the Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo at the University of Pavia in Italy.

The team looked at 54 celiac disease patients who had undergone dental examination. The patients included 41 females and 13 males, with an average age of 37±13 years, and with an average age of 31±14years at the time of diagnosis.

Symptoms leading to diagnosis were diarrhea/weight loss (32 pts.), anaemia (19 pts.), familiarity (3 pts.). None of the patients was diagnosed because of enamel defects.

At the time of evaluation, all of the patients were following a gluten-free diet.

The team classified enamel defects from grade 0 to 4 according to severity. They found dental enamel defects in 46 of the 54 patients (85.2%). They found grade 1 defects in 18 patients (33.3%), grade 2 defects in 16 patients (29.6%), grade 3 defects in 8 patients (14.8%), and grade 4 defects in 4 patients (7.4%).

They also observed that grades 3 and 4 were more common in patients diagnosed with classical rather than non-classical coeliac disease (10/32 vs. 2/20). However, this was not statistically significant.

From this study, the team concludes that enamel defects are common in adult celiac disease, and that the observation of enamel defects offers a way to diagnose celiac disease.

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