How Celiac Disease Affects Your Teeth

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Celiac disease affects your digestive tract, but its effects aren’t limited to your intestines. Johns Hopkins reports that over 2 million Americans have the condition, and many may be unaware that they do.

Having celiac disease creates gluten intolerance. Whenever someone with celiac disease eats food with gluten in it, their body attacks their small intestine, which makes it difficult for it to absorb nutrition.


Celiac disease affects your enamel, the protective outer layer of your teeth. In fact, particular types of tooth discoloration & defect, weakened enamel, are some of the signs that can help someone get an accurate diagnosis for this disease.

People with celiac disease can have teeth that appear dark yellow or brownish in color. They can also present with mottled teeth, or teeth that have a flat, white undertone but feature yellow or brown spots on the external surface.

Because celiac disease can wear down the surface of your teeth, it can increase your risk of dental problems, like cavities.

Many children with celiac disease have delayed dental development. They also tend to have more cavities than kids who don’t have the condition.

Left untreated, people with celiac disease can experience tooth decay and a higher risk of mouth cancer, throat cancer, and esophageal cancer.

What can be done?

Treating your underlying celiac disease is the first step. Switching to a gluten-free diet can stop the disease from triggering its dysfunctional autoimmune response.

Talk with your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms of celiac disease, such as:

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Foul-smelling stool
  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting

You’ll likely notice that your symptoms are worse after eating foods with gluten, such as breads, pastries, and beers or ales that contain barley.

After you switch to a gluten-free diet, you can start addressing any damage celiac disease has caused to your teeth. Our dentists can offer enamel defect treatments like bonding or veneers. Additionally, we may recommend fluoride treatments to help strengthen your enamel.

Can you cure celiac disease?

No, there is no current cure for celiac disease. But the good news is that people who follow a gluten-free diet after diagnosis can go on to live with little to no complications. And as far as your oral health goes, working with a dentist who understands celiac disease can help you get the treatment you need to strengthen your smile.

Reach out to us today at Soothing Dental to learn more about our services in Sunnyvale and San Francisco.