Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes severe abdominal issues, but it can also cause dental problems as well. In fact, as many as 87% of children diagnosed with celiac disease have dental enamel defects.
However, since it typically takes 6-10 years to be correctly diagnosed with celiac disease after health and dental problems surface, many people continue to eat foods that contain gluten and, thus, continue to unknowingly damage their dental enamel through adolescence and into adulthood. This often results in the need for a full mouth reconstruction.
If you or your child has been diagnosed with celiac disease and need teeth reconstruction, you'll want to know a few important things before you begin the process.
The Affects of Celiac On Your Teeth & Bones
Vomiting from celiac disease can damage your dental enamel, but the problems run far deeper for people with celiac disease. When you eat gluten, your body reacts by attacking the lining of your small intestine. The role of your small intestine is to absorb nutrients and minerals from the foods you eat. Since your intestine is damaged it cannot absorb the nutrients and minerals your body needs to be healthy, including your teeth and bones. This can cause discolored and badly shaped teeth, in addition to poor dental enamel.
When to Schedule Full Mouth Reconstruction
Given that the main role of your teeth is to aid in the digestion of the foods you eat, it is important that you have a good set of chompers. Fortunately, you can have what is called a full mouth restoration to achieve this. A full mouth restoration typically takes several treatments to achieve the final result. You may need bone grafting to strengthen your jaws before you can get full mouth reconstruction treatments such as dental implants, veneers and crowns.
It's important to note that you'll need to schedule your procedures when you are not suffering from the symptoms of celiac disease. And, be sure to completely avoid gluten while going through your treatments. That way, bouts of vomiting will not affect any stitches your dentist may place in your gums.
The Importance of a Gluten-Free Dental Office
The dental office where you receive the treatments for your full mouth reconstruction will need to be gluten-free. Some dental products, such as mouthwashes and toothpastes, can contain gluten. Gluten is often used as an additive in plastics and bite splints found in dental offices. The powder that is inside the gloves used by your dental team could contain gluten as well. Be sure your dentist understands that you need to avoid gluten altogether.
Recovery Medication that May Cause Stomach Upset
Your dentist will likely prescribe powerful antibiotics for you to take after your treatments. Antibiotics are given to lower your risk of infection. However, be sure to inform your pharmacist that you need to have gluten-free antibiotics. Gluten is often used as a binding agent in medication. You may need to get your prescription filled at a compounding pharmacy.
Also, keep in mind that powerful antibiotics can sometimes cause an upset stomach. It's a good idea to read all food labels and keep a log of everything you eat in case you get sick to your stomach. That way, you'll be able to pinpoint what triggered the stomach upset and whether it was caused by gluten or by the antibiotics.
Celiac disease can disrupt your entire body and wreck your teeth. Fortunately, you don't have to suffer with bad teeth caused by celiac. You can opt to have your entire mouth reconstructed so you can chew your foods properly and show a gleaming set of pearly whites when you smile.