Gluten Sensitivity and Oral Health

When you see gluten free products at the local grocery store, oral health may not be the first thing that comes to mind. Gluten is a protein found commonly in wheat and grains, something we don’t always associate with tooth decay, unlike soda and sugar.

Many today are unaware that gluten sensitivity and Celiac Disease (auto immune hypersensitivity to gluten) actively contributes to tooth decay. It is estimated that about 1 percent of Americans suffer from sensitivity to gluten, while 1 in 133 Americans suffers from Celiac Disease (CD). It is important to understand CD is genetic, unlike ordinary gluten sensitivity which can develop over one’s lifetime.

Studies have found that gluten can result in the body producing an immune response that inhibits proteins from producing enamel on teeth. This autoimmune response is especially seen with those suffering from CD.

The lack of enamel can contribute to being more prone to cavities and premature tooth loss. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body, and once lost it can be difficult to renew.

Other oral conditions that gluten sensitivity has been linked to include:

  • Canker sores
  • Geographic tongue
  • Tonsil stones
  • Excess mucus
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Metallic taste
  • Gum Inflammation

While others may not be aware of the impact of gluten sensitivity on your digestive tract, they might notice its effect on your smile. If you are concerned about gluten affecting your oral health, or wish to make an appointment, contact Greenspoint Dental today.