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The Connection Between Gluten and Tooth Decay

gluten and tooth decay
Published By Dr. Rachel Hall at 10 March, 2019

Is There A Link Between Eating Gluten and Tooth Decay

Gluten can lead to a whole cascade of digestive problems that can then go on to wreak havoc throughout the body. Digestive issues create inflammation, toxicity and poor mineral and vitamin absorption which not only impact on your health but have implications for dental disease and tooth decay.

Gluten Intolerance and Dental Defects

Dental defects are common in children who cannot tolerate gluten and therefore dental problems may be a symptom of gluten intolerance or coeliac disease. People with gluten intolerance are more prone to tooth decay but may also have enamel defects such as white, yellow, or brown spots on the teeth, mottled or translucent teeth and or pitting or banding of the teeth. Unfortunately, most dentists associate these problems with excess fluoride, antibiotic exposure or early childhood illnesses thus missing the opportunity to alert parents to possible gluten intolerance.

Research has shown gluten causes the body to produce an immune reaction against one of the main proteins, amelogenin, responsible for producing enamel on the teeth. Without enamel proteins, the teeth can not and do not form correctly which leads to the formation of the enamel defects so often seen in gluten intolerant individuals.

For many children (and adults with gluten issues), switching to a gluten-free diet significantly contributes to a reduction in decay and improvements in dental health.

The damage to the small intestines results in an inability to absorb nutrients including calcium, vitamin D, iron and B-12. Without these nutrients, damage occurs throughout the body including the bones and teeth. Ultimately, when the body cannot absorb and distribute nutrients, such as calcium, teeth do not form properly and can be weak, small, widely spaced, and or discoloured

Mouth signs of coeliacs and gluten intolerance:

  • tooth enamel defects – pitting, mottling, discolouration, banding 
  • recurring mouth ulcers 
  • red, smooth, shiny tongue 
  • geographic tongue – the tongue looks like a map 
  • bad breath 
  • metallic taste in the mouth 
  • dry mouth syndrome 
  • squamous cell carcinoma of the throat and mouth 
  • tonsillar stones or exudates – white lumps of pus embedded in the tonsils 
  • chronic severe redness in the back of the throat
  • excessive mucous production 
  • cystic frenulum – a small cyst can form on the flap of skin connecting your top lip to your gums 

Tooth decay and other dental problems occur far more frequently among gluten-intolerant people than among those in the general population. 

Gluten-intolerant individuals who continue to eat gluten frequently suffer from bone-related issues, including bone porosity, bone loss, and dental problems such as loss or thinning of tooth enamel, bone loss from around the teeth, abscesses and dental decay. 

A gluten-free diet will allow your body to repair itself. While your tooth enamel cannot be replaced, your bones and the dentine in your teeth can become denser, reducing your risk for tooth decay and dental infections. 

To learn more about your dental health book a consultation by contacting us at 07 3720 1811.

  • Dr. Rachel Hall

    Dr. Rachel Hall

    Rachel is the founder and principal dentist at Evolve Dental Healing with over 25 years experience, practicing holistically since 2001. Not your typical dentist, Rachel is a passionate opinion leader, challenging convention to empower people to make better dental and health choices, helping thousands to have healthy natural smiles. A respected writer and presenter on holistic dentistry, health and wellness it is Rachel’s mission to revolutionise the way people look at their dental health.

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