How Does Gluten Affect Your Oral Health?
November is Gluten-Free Awareness Month, andthe gluten-free craze has many of us second-guessing our own gluten intake.
But does gluten have any effect on 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 2 million Americans have Celiac disease and 18 million Americans have a gluten sensitivity.
For those with Celiac disease and gluten sensitivities, gluten can have surprising effects on your oral health. Studies show that for those diagnosed, gluten may cause:
- Damage to teeth enamel
- Teeth discoloration with brown or yellow spots
- Canker sores
- Bad breath
- Inflammatory gum disease
If you’re afflicted by a gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease, doctors recommend a strict gluten-free diet. In addition, visit your dentist for help treating and maintaining your oral health. Fortunately, you’re in good company. There are many gluten-free bloggers sharing their own delicious, gluten-free options of favorite foods (like gluten-free pancakes!). If you’re looking for gluten-free Thanksgiving dishes, check out Eating Well.