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Toddler With Cavities, Slow Growth And Eczema

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Hi, I am here because of my daughter. She is 19 months old and I have been searching for months to figure out what is wrong with her. I have recently begun to think it is possible she is intolerant to gluten. We have not tried going gluten free yet. When she was 6 months old she started spitting up alot. I thought this was un-usual because she only did the normal baby spitting up previous to that. Her spit up smelled like old milk so I knew it was sitting in her stomach a little while before she spit. She also had a few spots of eczema on her chest that wasn't going away. I first noticed that at 4 months old. It was in a circular pattern and her Ped said it was numular eczema. I decided to try dairy free, as that was the only thing I had any real knowledge about causing these issues. Within a week her spit up stopped. After a few more weeks her eczema went away. Looking back at pictures, I realized that she also had eczema on her face, little rashy spots everywhere. Her face was horribly spotty and red looking, not the worst you've seen, but definitely not "clear". After going dairy free her face was amazingly clear withing a few months. We stayed dairy free till about 13 months old. We tried a little dairy and she seemed to do ok. Just yogurt at first, then later some cheese. Then her eczema on her face came back. So I thought,she must still be intolerant. So we went back off of it. But it never completely cleared. It got a little better, but stayed on her cheeks. Similar to what was on her chest last time. Anyway, around that time I noticed she had brown spots on her new front teeth. Around 15 months old she still had the eczema even though we'd been dairy free for a while and soy free, her teeth were getting worse. In a matter of a couple of months her teeth started "melting" away. The two front lateral incisers started getting shorter and decaying, the enamel was coming off. They never were black and never looked like normal decay just like the enamel was going away, and the tooth was getting shorter. I took her to dentist and they blamed it on her nursing at night. She has been breastfed since birth but never takes a bottle and never drinks juice. I really felt like it had to be something else. I wondered if I hadn't brushed her teeth well enough before bed. Sometimes I would even forget to brush her teeth before bed. I blame that on being tired and new mom, overwhelmed and just not thinking. :(

Anyway, in January I decided to try dairy again and nothing seemed worse or better so I decided that we might as well let her have dairy. I had done hours of research on natural tooth health and curing cavities. I found out that she might be missing certain vitamins that she needs and could get them from animal products especially dairy. I started giving her fermented cod liver oil and cut out pretty much all sugar. Her teeth really didn't get better and I finally took her to another dentist and let him crown her two lateral front teeth and fill a molar in the back. He said we needed to "watch" the other top back molar and her front teeth. The back one had some demineralization on the SIDE of it, but no cavity. The front two teeth have whitish lines by the gum lines. He also suggested fluoride toothpaste even at her age, just once a day.

Even after using a tiny bit of fluoride toothpaste, cutting out all sugars except fruit and using xylitol, and cod liver oil her two front teeth look worse today at 19 months. The enamel is thin and kinda yellow brown. She has a small spot where the enamel chunked out near the gumline on her front tooth now. I did start her on high vitamin butter oil and children's vitamins as well as cell salts recently. I am really hoping that helps. She still has eczema on her cheeks and some behind her knees. Overall she seems healthy otherwise, but she is also not gaining weight. She has gained in height but she's only gained 1 1/2 pounds since she was 12 months old. I really just wonder if maybe she is allergic to gluten or if we need to cut out all grain/wheat. We eat alot of pasta and tortillas. She is rather picky since she is a toddler but since she is still breastfeeding I am sure she gets gluten through my milk since I eat alot of bread and grain myself.

I don't know whether to try going gluten free or not. I have read so much stuff about celiac and that the tests aren't that great and invasive. I read they have a high chance of false positives,especially at her age. If we go off gluten how will I know if it's helping? She really has never had a bunch of digestive issues. She goes from semi soft bowel movements to harder depending on what she eats, but she doesn't always go everyday. My husband and I are both healthy and have never had a cavity. Alot of the stuff I have read about cavities just doesn't make sense in my daughters case. I am most worried about her teeth, I admit. I have read alot of Weston A Price's stuff and about Nurtured Traditions. I have wondered if going off grains anyway just might be a good idea. I don't want to just go gluten free and then use a bunch of other processed stuff and only have the same issues. I don't want to go off gluten and then not know if it's helped either.

Is it likely that this is celiac or at least gluten intolerance? Or just a combination of other issues? I'v'e got to do something though. Like I've said I've done so much reading and found that breastmilk is really not cariogenic and a couple of websites said that if your young child has cavities that you should run to your DR and get tested for celiac. Would you suggest trying to go gluten-free or just have her tested? I just don't know what to do.


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I'd go gluten free. It sounds like you have tried so much, been so dedicated.. I have a similar story and know how hard it is to get a babe to take fermented clo ;)

They wanted to put my 4 yr old under ga at 14 months and cap/ crown at least 8 teeth.

We went paleo, used mi paste, act mouthwash brushed on and topical fluoride gel. She is now 4 and all but 2 teeth remineralized. We crowned two molars in the end and did a fill on the dead cavity on her front tooth that had pitted from the decay. You could never tell now that the incisor crumbled. It is even a little longer then the worst point.. Still shorter then the other side but hard and white. All were done with nitrous :)

What do you have to lose by going grain free. ( sorry, I think everyone must in the healing stages at the least) Maybe healthy for you guys isn't whole grains and clo... No raw dairy.. No dairy period till her gut is very very healed and repopulated.

You are a fantastic mom for asking the questions. I think your gut is telling you that the food you are eating isn't the medicine you need.

Good luck!


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Until reading this post I had never connected my 5 yr olds teeth issues to possible Celiacs! In March she was put to sleep at the hospital and ended up with 12 caps :( Her front 2 teeth have dark spots the doctor said was her enamal wearing off. I blamed myself for not brushing long enough or hard enough?! I have 3 older children and their teeth are fine. We limit juice and do not allow soda. Candy is limited as well. I am anxious waiting for results now.


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I am short of time, so will make this brief. I can recommend a non-invasive conclusive test that I learned about through the book "Gluten Connection." It costs $128 all in. You will have to file the insurance claim yourself. The company is EnteroLab and they test stool samples for antibodies. It is accurate and noninvasive. Once you order the test, you are sent the materials and then send back the sample postage paid. I have done this for my 6 and 4 year olds and am planning on doing it for my one year old. The website is

Hope that helps!


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Both my boys have/had issues with cavities. Youngest son had his first ones at 3 in all four of his 2 year molars. He is 7 now and he has enamal defects on his permanant 6 year molars and has had work done on two of them and more baby teeth. I blame his tooth issues on his celiac. In hindsite I believe he was celiac as a baby but didn't test positive till age 5 almost 6. He was tested after my diagnosis at age 3 and was negative so he continued to eat gluten. So far his front permanant teeth look alright.

Older boy(11) has never had a positive blood test(been tested at least 4 times) and even had a negative biopsy last summer. Because of issues he was having we decided to trial gluten free with him last Aug. I hosestly believe issues he had as a baby/toddler could be blamed on gluten too retrospectively. He is doing great now and has decided on his own to stay gluten free! The three of us got cross contaminated at a restaruant in Feb. and he suffered the worst.

I would at least get her tested while she is still consuming gluten. While the tests are less accurate in children her age, if she had a positive test result then you would have something conclusive. Sometimes the blood work can be negative but still show positive on biopsy. When you are done with all testing or choose not to do any, I would definately try her strict gluten free for at least three months and see how she does.


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    • Person above me is correct. You need a skin biopsy, and it must be performed correctly. I never had a positive blood test but my biopsy came up positive for DH. Going gluten-free for a month usually won't  clear up DH. It commonly takes ~6 months, and this only on a very strict gluten-free diet. Any exposure to even small amounts of gluten (through cross-contamination, etc) can lead to flareups.     
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      1 teaspoons cinnamon
      1 teaspoons apple pie spice
      1 teaspoon baking soda
      ½ teaspoon salt
      ¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
      ½ cup almond butter
      ½ cup Maple/Agave
      2 Tablespoons soft coconut oil
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