A celiac disease diagnosis showed Janie Harris, director of annual giving for the Celiac Disease Foundation, how her oral health could be affected as a result of her disease.
Harris was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2015 and has been dealing with oral health issues as a result of her disease. Read more to learn about her experience and potential long-term oral health problems associated with the disease.
Director of Annual Giving, Celiac Disease Foundation
What are the most common oral health issues you see in people with celiac disease?
One of the most common oral health issues in people with celiac disease is an increase in cavities and canker sores, small ulcers in the lining of the mouth. Patients can also experience dry, burning sensations of the tongue due to vitamin absorption problems.
Have you experienced gum issues, ulcers, delayed dental development, or other common oral health problems because of celiac?
Yes, I experienced ongoing gingivitis — swollen, bleeding gums — until my celiac disease diagnosis when I adopted a strict gluten-free diet. I also have a small, yellow abnormality on my tooth that emerged prior to being diagnosed. Despite my gluten-free diet, the spot hasn’t gone away. The only way to remove it is to undergo a procedure that will minimize the abnormality.
What are the top oral health signs to watch for that might indicate someone has celiac?
It’s important to look out for dental defects, enamel deformities, an increase in cavities, and frequent and severe canker sores.
What are the best ways to prevent or treat oral health issues once you are diagnosed with celiac?
Strict adherence to a gluten-free diet will be the most effective treatment in managing oral health issue. For ongoing symptoms, discuss a treatment strategy with your dentist to meet your specific needs.