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Dental Enamel And Gluten Intolerance
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Hi All,

I'm wondering if anyone here has found that their children with Gluten Intolerance/Celiac have also had problems with their dental enamel being thin or not covering the entire tooth. I seem to remember reading something about this but when I asked my dentist he told me it had more to do with my own body not producing "something" when she was in utero. My one daughter(5) who if Gluten Intolerant has poor enamel and her younger sister (4) does also. I've been wondering if I should be treating the younger one as if she were intolerant as well (due to some relatively minor GI symptoms)and the enamel issue is lending fuel to my thought process. Anyone here have similar issues? Thanks in advance.

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My dentist told me years ago that my mother, son, and I all suffered from some type of unexplained auto-immune disease where our tooth buds had not formed properly in utero. He said he had no idea what type of disease we had but that ALL of us, indeed, suffered from the same thing. He retired years ago, so I was never able to tell him that we all now know that we have celiac disease. Even though we all lost a number of teeth that self-destructed from the inside out (because of lack of properly formed tooth buds), our teeth are much stronger now that we're able to absorb Vitamin D and calcium If you suspect that your youngest has celiac, you can certainly improve the enamel on her teeth by having her follow a gluten-free diet.

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My now 7 year old has perfectly formed baby teeth but developed his first cavities at age 2.5 and has multiple fillings. His bottom 6 year molars came in and just didn't look right. Part of them looks like a normal tooth and other parts are a tan color. The dentist said he had bad enamal and the tooth structure wasn't normal. His one even had to have a filling because it came in with a cavity already in it. When she went to fill it she said the tooth just started to crumble. He is now cutting the top two so I'm anxious as to how they will look. He is also getting one of his bottom incisors growing in behind his baby tooth(despite the baby tooth being barely loose) and I hope it isn't like the molars. Our dentist believes that the defects are a result of all the antibiotics he had when he was little and his undiagnosed celiac. He was diagnosed Nov. 2010 but in hindsite I think he has had a gluten problems since he was an infant.

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Yes, dental enamel issues are held in common with Celiac. My brother lost all of his dental enamel at age 12. You can walk around and easily diagnose some people based on the look of their teeth! My question to you is- why are you not testing them all for Celiac? I posted an article on my blog today about how hereditary Celiac is. Don't just remove gluten, you must test them all first to be sure it isn't Celiac. As you know with a Celiac diagnosis every CRUMB of gluten matters so it is not just a diet free of gluten, it is free of every possible gluten pollutant. You are absolutely correct to be looking into your children's dental enamel issues. Hooray to you and remember most people don't know as much as we do about gluten and it's side effects, even those in the medical field. Follow your gut and take them to see a gastroenterologist for proper testing. Jewels

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Yes, My DD has thin enamel on her molars so we had them sealed to prevent cavities. She also had it on her baby front teeth, fortunately her adult teeth came in ok

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Thanks very much for getting back. Although my daughter has had multiple cavities (and also has had her teeth sealed), I am really praying that her adult teeth will come in with good enamel since we have been avoiding gluten with her. I'm encouraged to hear that some of you say that your kids adult teeth came in well. Very thankful for this group!

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My dental enamel was bad too. I had teeth that needed to be filled as soon as they came in. I wasn't diagnosed until well into adulthood and both sets of teeth are bad. My kids were diagnosed after their adult teeth came in, but they only have 1 and 2 cavities as teenagers. I have a whole mouthful as well as a crown. I hope your daughter's adult teeth will be good.

I have read scientific papers about a connection with enamel problems and celiac disease, but I don't have the links. Our dentist was unaware of the connection.

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My son (still in the pre-diagnosis stage - elevated ttg/ negative biopsy) has problems with the enamel on his baby teeth. The front 2 teeth turned brown around the time he was 1 and was really struggling with nutritional deficits and chronic diarrhea. I had multiple doctors tell me it was nothing even though I showed them their own pamphlet from their waiting room talking about enamel issues being a sign of celiac. 2 weeks ago I took him to the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center and the doc there was very interested in the enamel. He said typically the enamel issues are in the adult teeth rather than baby teeth but not always.

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What do these teeth look like? We are just starting a gluten free diet with my 13 yr old dd and the more I read, the more symptoms I add to her list! She too has these gross teeth and I was also told by her dentist that for what ever reason when they were forming, they lacked some mineral or nutrient. Her teeth are kind of tan in color, certainly not white, and they are pitted. She is on her second phase of braces so we are waiting for this to be over before we try and corrective issue. Sheesh, who would've thought something as simple and old as wheat could cause sooo many issues!

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After my younger son was diagnosed, the entire family got tested. I tested positive but my older son tested negative.

He is 9 and has always had something up with his teeth - despite eating pretty healthy and brushing daily, etc. When his front teeth came in, they were sort of tannish and discolored - uneven colored and thin looking. The dentist seemed unconcerned. When I tried to find a photo to bring to the celiac specialist, I couldn't - hundreds of photos, but very few where he showed his teeth. He was sensitive about them (how sad!). Anyway, when she finally met him (at one of his brother's appointments) she took a look and scheduled a endoscopy for him - even though all his blood tests were normal and he has no other symptoms. She fully expected to find that he too has celiac disease.

His biopsy was negative so she said to have his blood tested every two years - sooner if he develops any symptoms. She said she would not be surprised if it was somehow related to gluten but couldn't attribute it to celiac disease just yet.

He still eats gluten, but nowhere near as much as before, since I only cook gluten free now. Since we changed our diet (me and younger son are 100% gluten free, the other two in the family still use regular bread and cereal) his teeth look like they have improved.

Cara

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    • I found when I went gluten free I started eating more dairy and that gave me worse stomach aches and bloating than the gluten did. So now I have to avoid gluten and dairy.  Maybe you have a similar problem with something you are eating.  I hope you feel better soon.  
    • Hi! I received my "official" celiac diagnosis last week. I had an endoscopy last month that was originally looking for ulcers and h. pylori, but they did some biopsies of my duodenum since they were in the neighborhood and the biopsy came back "consistent with Celiac's disease" and later. They urged me to get my blood checked and follow up with my primary doctor. My blood work came back negative, but my doctor was confident it's Celiac so told me to stay away from gluten. I've been completely gluten free (or to the best of my knowledge) for 2 weeks now, and my results are mixed. At first, I felt great! My stomach was no longer CRAZY bloated once I stopped eating pasta and bread, my acne started healing, and the red rash on the back of my arms started to fade. That was the first few days. Lately, though, my acne is once again flaring up and I've been SO EXHAUSTED. I feel so tired all the time. Even now I have fatigue in my head, limbs, and I could hardly walk or move my body earlier today. I'm overweight and I like to go to the gym, but what used to be an easy workout for me is kicking my ass! I used to go to the gym and tear it up: HIIT on the treadmill followed by 40 minutes of heavy weight lifting. Now I can hardly finish 3 reps in my first set without feeling like a nap. I can't run anymore because my body feels clumsy and heavy. Also, I'm still bloated. I don't suffer from painful, acute bloating, but I struggle to pass gas and I look like I have pregnant belly. I think I'm also retaining water all over my body, and I'm not sure if that's normal? For whatever reason, I have this belief that water is mainly retained in the core and not arms, legs, and face. Anyway, I'd love to hear what you have to say/what you've experienced. Is this typical to first going gluten free?
    • Thanks Stephanie & Gemini for the info. that the 4 of 5 doesn't apply to children. I wasn't aware of that until now. 
    • I think the posters above have given you very good information and I will throw in my 2 cents worth.  I am surprised that they did not test her DGP IgA also.  I am sure that would have been positive.  They switched off with antibody classes and usually they do both tests for both antibodies.  IgA is more specific to Celiac but the IgG is also useful.  The testing shows your daughter is producing antibodies to the gluten in her diet. (DGP IGG). THe tTg shows positive for some damage or inflammation. You know........your daughter is only 4.  She hasn't been on the planet or eating gluten that long. It can take years for enough damage to occur for it to be able to be found on biopsy.  I would say it is highly likely that this is Celiac, especially with her symptoms. But because the damage hasn't graduated to bad enough yet, they won't diagnose her. I think you need to do what others have said and get all copies of testing and find someone else who will take a look and give a diagnosis, especially if they have you do a dietary trial and her symptoms go away.  That might be the only recourse if you want faster proof. I know I would want faster.  I would not really be happy if I thought I had to keep feeding her something that was making her sick.  If you keep her on gluten long enough, the diarrhea will probably show up. BTW.........the criteria mentioned regarding diagnosis does not apply to kids.  I know it's silly and stupid but most leading Celiac specialists do not go by this criteria for kids.......adults only.  Keep that in mind because it might come up.  You could recognize it but they might not. Have you considered gene testing, to help bolster a diagnosis? As far as false positives go, it's the other way around. False negatives happen more frequently than many people think.  It's a recurring theme here.  With her symptoms, which is what I had, a bloated belly and tummy aches are telling.  Have they tested her for lactose intolerance?  That can cause similar symptoms, although it sure won't raise those 2 blood tests.  Keep looking for Celiac because there are many red flags here.
    • This 4 out of 5 criteria does not apply to children. I was never given a reason why, but it isn't.     That said, you may try to get a second opinion from another GI who may be willing to give her a firm dx.  We were in your boat 6 years ago and while I'm sure I'll get slammed for it, I wish we had kept gluten in our kiddos diet till he scoped positive for a variety of reasons.  Again, even family is different and you have to find what is best for you!
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