Gluten: Its Affect on Your Oral Health
November 03, 2016  |  Oral Health Care

Gluten: Its Affect on Your Oral Health

November is Gluten-Free Awareness month. The Gluten-free craze has many of us second guessing our own Gluten intake.

But does Gluten have any effect on our teeth?

Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat and grains. Some people have a gluten sensitivity or Celiac
Disease, in which eating gluten affects the lining of the small intestine and prevents the body from absorbing nutrients. It is estimated that over 2 million Americans have Celiac Disease and 18 million Americans have a gluten sensitivity.

For those with Gluten Sensitivities, gluten can have surprising effects on your oral health.

Research Source:

Eur J Oral Sci. 2012 Apr ;120(2):104-12.

In this research study, it was confirmed that gluten causes the body to produce an immune reaction against one of the main proteins responsible for producing enamel on the teeth.  Lack of enamel leads to a variety of oral health problems including excessive cavities, excessive tooth ware and tear, and eventually the premature destruction or loss of teeth.  It is no mystery that gluten proteins can negatively impact the health of the oral cavity.  Even dentists are starting to take an active role in recognizing this problem.

Oral Diseases Linked to Gluten

There are many disease conditions and symptoms of the mouth that have been tied to gluten sensitivity.

  • Canker sores

  • Geographic tongue (gluten induced damage on the tongue – makes the tongue look like a map)

  • Tonsilar stones  (appears as white lumps of puss in the tonsils)

  • Pharyngeal Erythema (chronic severe redness in the back of the throat)

  • Excessive mucus  (leads to chronic throat clearing)

  • Bad breath

  • Cystic Frenula (a small cyst can form on the flap of skin connecting your top lip to your gums)

  • Metallic taste in the mouth

  • Inflammatory gum disease

Food Effects What it Comes in to Contact With

The mouth, tongue, teeth and soft tissues in the intestinal tract are no exception.  Good or bad, food can impact the overall condition of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestine.  Your food can impact the pH (acid/base) balance and alter the quantity of good and bad bacteria.  First, these bacteria are essential for helping us regulate our immune system. We then digest our food. Lastly, the food produces vitamins like Biotin and vitamin K.

Why do you need to know this?  The improper pH has been linked to gum disease and tooth decay as well.  Additionally, a pH that is too acidic has been shown to contribute to cancer, heart disease, bone loss, diabetes, and many more chronic conditions.  Vitamin K is essential for bone density, immune regulation, and blood clotting.  Biotin is essential for the proper growth of hair and skin as well as essential in the proper breakdown of fat.

Abnormal food reactions can cause inflammatory damage.  To the contrary, healthy food can provide necessary nutrients directly to the gastrointestinal tract.  40% of nutrients for the gut come directly from food, not from the blood supply.  Bottom line:  don’t ignore the power that food has over your oral and gut health.

Doctors recommend a strict gluten-free diet if you’re afflicted by a gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease. In addition, visit your dentist for help treating and maintaining your oral health.

In conclusion, you’re in good company. There are many Gluten-Free bloggers sharing their own delicious, gluten-free options of favorite foods ( like pancakes!) You will find many options out there!

We Are Ready To See You. Welcome Back!

We have always put our patients and team’s health and safety first and will continue to do so! During the shelter in place our team has been busy reinforcing what we have always done to keep our patients safe and secure as well as implement additional steps so that we could re-open with confidence! Our vision is to keep our patients informed and supported every step of the way. We want you to know:

  • That we are paying close attention to the evolving CDC guidelines and will continue to make our practice safe for all those we are honored to serve.
  • Our team has worked diligently to make sure that all social distancing requirements are in place, so that every patient can come back to care with confidence.
  • Your dental health is important and impacts your overall health and we are committed to supporting each and every one of you as we return to full services beyond emergency care.
  • Our hygienists have streamlined their protocols, so that patients can return to their continuing care intervals, which are key in maintaining health and well-being.
  • We will continue to post updates, as well as tips to keep you healthy during these unprecedented times on our Facebook Page Westhilldentalappleton. We invite you to join the conversation!

We look forward to seeing you soon! Our greatest reward comes from serving our dental family!