Oral Health: Researchers Connect Celiac Disease with Dental Health

Published Online: Friday, August 17, 2012
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Updates on dental health for kids include a finding that tooth decay is more common in children with celiac disease,a warning about the use of dental composites in pediatric patients, and a look at racial disparities in dentist visits.

Dental decay is more common in children with celiac disease, according to the results of a study published online April 17, 2012 in ISRN Pediatrics.

Study authors evaluated the frequency and symptoms of celiac disease in children who also had dental enamel defects. Researchers recruited participants aged 4 to 12 years with dental enamel decay from the General Pediatric Clinic, Dentistry Pediatric Clinic, and Pediatric Gastroenterology Unit at the Children’s Hospital of Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt.

Researchers included 140 participants with dental enamel decay and a cohort of 720 healthy pediatric participants for the study. Participants underwent an abdominal examination and were questioned about their dietary habits, gastrointestinal symptoms, and dental hygiene habits. Height and weight were taken as well and evaluated on World Health Organization growth curves.

Of the participants with dental enamel decay, 25 participants reported prior recurrent gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, and flatulence. Twenty-five participants were subsequently diagnosed with celiac disease. Researchers did not state whether the participants later diagnosed with celiac disease had prior gastrointestinal symptoms.

Researchers also reported that patients with dental enamel decay were more likely to be underweight than participants without it. Participants shown to have dental enamel decay and celiac disease had a lower average height and weight than participants who did not have celiac disease. Of the participants without dental decay, 146 reported recurrent gastrointestinal symptoms and 7 were diagnosed with celiac disease.


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