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Dental Enamel Defects Indicate Adult Celiac Disease

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.

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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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5 Responses:

 
Allison Adams
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said this on
23 Aug 2013 5:25:07 AM PDT
Can you describe what the dental defects were? How they were classified?

 
Donnie
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said this on
23 Aug 2013 10:46:18 AM PDT
I had so many tooth enamel defects, and so did several other family members. Along with many classic celiac disease symptoms. But, only two of us were ever tested for celiac disease. And we were both adults at the time of our diagnosis. Autoimmune diseases run in my family on both sides. Especially thyroid disease.

 
Lois Dean
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said this on
26 Aug 2013 10:40:21 AM PDT
It would be helpful to know the rate of dental enamel defects in a similar random group having no gluten sensitivity or celiac disease diagnosis.

 
mary-anne
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said this on
26 Aug 2013 3:32:33 PM PDT
I was born with celiac disease, spent 18 months in the hospital on and off before it was diagnosed, went dormant when I was around 12 and returned at 45 (I'm now 51). I have ridges about 1/8" down/up from where tops and bottoms meet, my mom told me I was born with the ridges as a result of the disease... meaning I had celiac disease even in the womb, from what her understanding was through my 'specialist.' I was finally diagnosed at around 3 years old in Toronto Sick Children's hospital.

 
Lynne
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said this on
27 Aug 2013 9:50:55 PM PDT
My sister and I both have dental defects. Four of my upper teeth and four of my lower teeth have discolored ridges. Dentists always said it must have been a high fever or tetracycline, but my mother said this was not the case. Those things didn't apply to us. My son was diagnosed with celiac disease last year at age 22. I am asymptomatic, but have been tested. Genetically, I have the highest possible risk factor in terms of my DNA, my blood serum showed elevated antibodies, but my endoscopy biopsy was only Marsh 1. My gastroenterologist said I did not have celiac disease and that I do not need to be gluten-free. I'm not sure what to believe. My mother, sisters and I have had autoimmune diseases, three of us with thyroid disorders.




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