Dental Issues and Celiac – Enamel Defects
My Teeth Woes
I have always had bad teeth. My teeth were soft and the enamel was ill formed. It was chalked up to bad prenatal advice my mom had received. My mom was told that it was bad for the baby if you drank milk while pregnant. This was always the reason I was told I had bad teeth. By the time I was 3 years old, I had to have all of my baby teeth filled. The dentist started me on fluoride treatments and I took fluoride pills for years! Still, my bad enamel was a problem.
It was so frustrating to go to the dentist and always have 2-4 cavities! I brushed twice a day and did everything the dentist told me to do. On the other hand, my brother was bragging about how he rarely brushed his teeth and almost never had a cavity. He would rub it in and laugh in my face. It’s so hard to try and try and still be unsuccessful. I remember just wanting to cry.
Thankfully, I had a dentist I absolutely loved! He always called me his favorite patient. As an adult, I thought, “I bet he says that to all of his patients.” So, I asked my sister about it and he never had said that to her or any of my other siblings. It made me love him all over again! I have never found another dentist that I absolutely love, like him. We have a pretty good one now, but it took a long time to find him! So, glad my kids like and trust him. Having a good dentist, that you like, is important.
Anyway, as a teenager I started eating lemons. Partially, as an act of rebellion. My mom hated me eating them and said I couldn’t do it with a straight face. Oh, I certainly could and do! They warned me about my teeth, but I didn’t care. It didn’t matter what I did to them, because they never got any better. I just had crappy teeth period, so what was the point?! I crave lemons when I am stressed (might have to do with my liver and adrenals), especially when I have stress, usually dealing with my mom.
Celiac Diagnosis and Connection
I was diagnosed with celiac when I was 35 years old. There is a huge correlation between enamel problems and celiac disease. As I learned about this connection between celiac and dental issues I realized, it was everything I had experienced: poor enamel quality, soft teeth, lots of cavities, discoloration which has gotten worse as I have gotten older, and pits. My daughter who has similar dental defects to mine (and does not eat lemons) had delayed teeth. (I couldn’t find any toothy pictures.) She didn’t get her first two teeth until a week after her first birthday and then they came in 2 at a time. Her teeth are pitted and discolored. Her teeth had an odd, almost transparent look when they were coming in.
So, those lemons haven’t helped my teeth and I don’t know how much damage they have caused. I rarely eat them now and find other ways to deal with my stress and cravings. That being said, my teeth really suck! I find myself becoming more self conscious of them. I recently had a bad reaction to some medication for a skin disease I have. In doing some research, my husband discovered that the medication can discolor the teeth. I have had this medication 3 or 4 times over the past 12 years! My teeth have gotten worse during this time and this is probably why! There is a discoloration line between the top of my top teeth and the bottom of my top teeth. The top part is quite dark. (This picture was 3 years ago.) I also had some issues with dry mouth. I woke up one morning with a very dry mouth and my cheek, that was against the pillow, was stuck to my teeth. On that side the teeth have become deeply pitted.
My dentist has remarked several times about how odd the damage to my teeth is. The office says they have never seen anything like it and it isn’t normally what they see when there is damage to teeth. I’ve always said, my body never read their books and doesn’t know what is supposed to be “normal”, even for abnormal.
It’s important to make sure your toothpaste and other dental products are gluten free. Keep in mind that labeling laws are different when we talk about products you do not ingest. They do not have to list wheat in the ingredient list and can call it by other names. (We use Crest)
Gf dental products https://www.gluten.org/dental-health-and-celiac-disease/
It’s still a good idea to check with your dentist to make sure the products they are using on you, in their office, are gluten free.
Another common issue that people with celiac or gluten intolerance experience is mouth sores. My husband is gluten intolerant, non-celiac and has always suffered from mouth sores. He will occasionally still get one, but usually, only if he is really stressed. It has been amazing to not be plagued with these sores and has been a huge benefit to him in being gluten free.
Here’s How I Am trying To Help Improve My Teeth
I started using orange oil when brushing my teeth to see if that would help with the discoloration and it has helped a little bit. Then I decided to try bergamot to see if it would help my tooth sensitivity and it has!
I put my toothpaste on my toothbrush, drop 1 drop orange and 1 drop bergamot and brush my teeth. I have seen improvement in my tooth color and the sensitivity of my teeth. I haven’t had a cavity since beginning to do this 1 1/2 years ago. It is remarkable, to say the very least!
Here are a couple of links to articles and blogs about the link between celiac and dental issues.