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All About Celiac Disease And Dental Health Concerns

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If you have celiac disease, you know that you must avoid gluten in order to prevent body-wide symptoms such as abdominal pain, fatigue, malabsorption of nutrients, etc. Although you may have discussed your autoimmune condition with your primary care doctor, it's also important for you to talk with your dentist during your regular cleaning check-ups as celiac disease can also affect dental health. Furthermore, there could be dental products with gluten, so your dentist should be aware of your condition to make your visits comfortable.  

Understand Possible Tooth Defects

According to one study, children with celiac disease tended to present more dental caries and recurrent oral aphthous lesions (canker sores). Maintaining a solid gluten-free diet can help you avoid these issues, but if you are still having problems, you and your dentist can investigate possible causes that could be contributing to these dental issues. For instance, some foods that are gluten-free may still be made in facilities with other gluten products, so there could be cross-contamination. While some people may only need one dental cleaning a year, people with celiac disease might need a few more cleaning appointments to prevent cavities.

Ask Your Dentist About Gluten-Free Products

The FDA doesn't require dental products to specifically label whether they contain gluten, but you may be surprised to learn that trace amounts of gluten can be present in fluoride products, whitening systems, prophy paste (for polishing teeth at cleaning appointments), etc. Gluten can be a common additive in plastics that are used to make dental devices, such as crowns, dentures, or orthodontic retainers. One study found that even non-dietary sources of gluten can trigger symptoms or aggravate celiac disease. So again, it's important to talk with your dentist about your condition to avoid these complications.

He or she can add your condition to your patient medical history so that the operatory can be made gluten-free by dental assistants before your visit. While not all cleaning agents and restorations list the presence of gluten, there are alternatives that are gluten-free, so your dentist can opt for these choices. You can ask your dentist if the staff has changed out of personal protective equipment (PPE) before eating on lunch breaks to, again, make sure that gluten products aren't brought into your dental operatory.

If you do have any celiac symptoms after a dental cleaning appointment, such as brain fog or GI issues, you should let your dentist know so that he or she can avoid certain products for future visits. Reach out to a dentist in your area today for more information on dental cleaning services.

For more information, turn to a local service such as Creative Smiles.