Ah, the life of someone with celiac disease. Bread is your worst enemy and most coveted desire. For those of you with the condition, you know a celiac-friendly diet means more than just avoiding bread. Gluten sneaks into salad dressings, hot dogs, and even beauty products! People living with celiac disease damage their intestines if gluten is digested.
But celiac disease affects more than just your food choices. Your teeth can suffer, too.
Celiac disease can cause tooth discoloration, weak enamel, and frequent canker sores. Oral health issues are nearly twice as common among people living with the disease.
Now for the good news: There are ways to prevent future oral health problems and keep your smile healthy.
Try these 3 tips to get your gluten-free grin on:
1. Be a picky pickier eater.
It’s easy to stick to your gluten-free diet, especially when you know the agonizing stomach pains that come after contamination. You may feel like you’re being high-maintenance when dining out, but ask the waiter if the breaded chicken fingers were cooked in the same fryer as your “gluten-free” fries. You’re protecting your body . . . and your teeth.
2. Use the right products.
Just because a product contains gluten-free ingredients, doesn’t mean the packaging is gluten-free. Check labels carefully. Even though you spit out most dental products, it’s easy for traces of toothpaste or mouthwash to remain in your mouth. Consult this list of 100% gluten-free personal products.
3. Tell everyone you know.
Does your dentist know you have celiac disease? It’s crucial for many reasons. The first guidelines for dentists were just published in 2011. In other words, considering celiac as a factor affecting a person’s oral health is new to the dentistry world. If you were diagnosed as an adult and have damage to your teeth, talk to your dentist about possible cosmetic options, such as bonding or veneers.
If you or someone you know lives with celiac disease, visit celiac.org for more tips and information.