Celiac disease is a condition, where a person is unable to tolerate wheat products. In other words they have a wheat allergy. It is not enough to avoid the standard foods like bread and other bakery goods that contain wheat. Wheat makes its appearance in many foods and also in taste enhancers like monosodium glutamate. Alone for this reason it is important for a person with celiac disease to carefully read labels in order to avoid foods that contain gluten, which is the offending substance. Often celiac disease goes undetected for many years, but there are early signs that can help to take action sooner rather than later.
Dr.T.Malahias, D.D.S., a dentist from Groton, Conn presented his findings at a recent international symposium for celiac disease. He pointed out that there are signs that are visible in the dental enamel, which will already be present in childhood, once the permanent teeth appear at about age 6. The bilateral symmetrical markings are defects in the tooth enamel. they can be brownish, yellow or white and are most commonly seen on the central incisors. They give the tooth a mottled, non-shiny appearance. Patients with this appearance may also have problems with the delayed eruption of the permanent teeth. These markings are permanent, and even after following a gluten-free diet they will stay, as the development of the enamel started already in the third or fourth month of life. While there may be other reasons for this abnormality, celiac disease should be considered in the context of the patient’s history.
The results are quite significant in pediatric groups: in patients less than 12 years of age who had celiac disease the rate of enamel defects ran at 90% as compared to 44% of the others without celiac disease. People who have recurrent unexplained aphthous ulcers should take notice too. Five percent have been found to have undiagnosed celiac disease as a result of the constant and chronic overstimulation of the immune system by gluten substances. Once celiac patients start with a gluten-free diet, the ulcers will occur less frequently.
More information on celiac disease: http://nethealthbook.com/digestive-system-and-gastrointestinal-disorders/celiac-disease/
Reference: Based on MD Consult News, January 31, 2007
Last edited November 2, 2014