Tuesday, November 4, 2014

celiac disease and teeth

I'm listening to Spotify on shuffle and this song begins: "I was scared of dentists and the dark...."  Maybe I should have gone as myself for Halloween.

Your mouth provides a snapshot into the entire health of your body. I was chatting with someone who has celiac disease running in his family. Besides the fact that he’s been spoiled with home-cooked meals every single night (“gluten-free” wasn’t a common place thing until recent), he told me something fascinating: multiple family members have teeth issues stemming from their celiac disease. 

I had no idea there was a link between celiac disease and teeth! Dr. Peter Green of Celiac Disease Center at Columbia suggests this blindness is common for dentists. He recommends that if a patient presents with an inexplicable enamel defect, to keep celiac disease in mind. Clinically, celiac disease patients’ teeth may look like fluorosis or tetracycline staining. But after you’ve completed a thorough history with nothing to explain for the mottled, weak looking teeth, maybe consider celiac disease.

In addition, celiac disease whose key to treatment is the initial diagnosis, may manifest solely in the mouth in forms of enamel defects and canker sores. I read that in Canada, the average time a celiac patient goes before their correct diagnosis is 11.7 years. Less than 1 in 5 Americans with celiac disease patients are aware they have the disease. 

You learn something new every day. I am just fascinated about this little tidbit I never knew before! Something else to give you a peek into my life: I'm reading this by Anne Fadiman and it's such an intimate look into epileptics whose world I know nothing about.

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13 comments:

  1. I read the Spirit Catches you and you Fall Down for my medical ethics class last fall! It is an amazing book, and also very thought-provoking. You'll love it! =)

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    1. I finished it and it was so interesting. My own reaction was mixed, some chapters I was angry at the doctors, others SO frustrated at the family...

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  2. I had no idea what celiac disease was before I read this. It looks really bad for your teeth and even painful. It sounds like this disease runs in the family. I have tried to brush my teeth at least twice a day. Is this a good way to prevent it? http://www.drgarymannarinodentistry.com/

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