Celiac Disease And Oral Health Concerns - How A Dentist Can Help

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If your child has recently been diagnosed with celiac disease, then you need to make sure that you try to avoid feeding your son or daughter any gluten foods. Items that contain wheat, barley, and rye must be removed from the diet. Once the diet is changed, your child's immune system will stop attacking the small intestines. Although a diagnosis and a diet change can help to advance your son or daughter's health, you may notice some lasting oral health problems that were caused when the disease was not treated properly. Keep reading to learn about these issues and find out what your dentist can do to offer assistance.

Poor Enamel Formation

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to destroy the villi in the small intestine. The villi are small protrusions that help the body absorb nutrients. When the villi can no longer function properly, then the body cannot take in the calcium, vitamin D, and other nutrients that are required to build healthy teeth and bones.  

This unfortunately causes the teeth to become weak with pitted and soft dental enamel. Not only is the enamel soft, but the body cannot absorb enough minerals to remineralize the teeth when acid erosion eats away at the soft tooth enamel. This can lead to the formation of cavities.

What Will a Dentist Do?

When your child's dentist inspects the teeth, he or she will look for pits, cavities, and the presence of soft enamel. Cavities are treated first and removed from the teeth. The holes are then filled in with a resin composite material. If decay appears deep within one of the baby teeth, then the dentist may opt to place a steel cap over the tooth. This is necessary, because pulling the tooth can cause problems with the eruption of the adult teeth still forming in the jaw.

If serious decay is seen in one of the adult teeth, then the dentist may perform a root canal and secure a crown over the treated tooth. After all the cavities are treated, the dentist will likely complete a fluoride treatment that will help to strengthen the dental enamel. A fluoride rinse may not be enough to assist the weak enamel, so the professional may opt to place a fluoride varnish on the teeth instead.  

Canker Sores

Celiac disease can cause canker sores or ulcers to form in the mouth, and the sores are often noticed even after gluten is removed from the diet. These sores appear, because the immune system works overtime to get rid of the harmful gluten that has entered the body. Many different body tissues may be attacked along with the small intestines, and this includes the ones within the mouth. This causes swelling and sores to form. The sores in the mouth are repeatedly exposed to bacteria and saliva fluids and this makes it difficult for them to heal even after celiac disease treatment is started.

What Will a Dentist Do?

If your dentist sees canker sores within your child's mouth, then he or she will likely complete a dental cleaning to make sure that tartar and plaque are not longer present on the teeth. This helps to reduce the amount of food that is available to the bacteria that live on the gums and teeth. Reducing bacterial activity will allow the tissues around the canker sore to heal faster.

Your dentist may also ask your child to gargle with a prescription rinse. This rinse will kill the bacteria in the mouth that multiply and feed after you eat. The professional may advise your child to stay away from spicy and acidic foods too, that may irritate the open sores in the mouth. Topical numbing agents may be suggested as well to reduce general discomfort.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that can cause oral problems and complications. If you have been informed that your child has the disease, then make sure to see a dentist at a site like http://www.drnickseddon.com right away once gluten is removed from the diet.