Celiac disease, sometimes called celiac disease, is an immune system reaction to the consumption of gluten.
It generally causes gastrointestinal upset, but it can also increase the risk of various conditions, including oral problems. Find out here how dental hygiene should be for people with celiac disease.
Gluten is a set of proteins found in wheat, barley, rye and in foods derived from these grains, such as flour. It is the substance that provides structure and binds. When consumed, those with celiac disease can experience an immune response in the small intestine, which causes different symptoms:
- Abdominal pain.
- Bloating and flatulence.
- Unintentional weight loss.
- Nausea and vomiting.
Many of those who have celiac disease may also experience symptoms that are not necessarily related to the digestive system, such as:
- Anemia, usually due to iron deficiency.
- Decreased function of the spleen, an organ that helps filter damaged cells from the bloodstream.
- Joint pain.
- Headaches and fatigue.
- Itchy rashes and blisters.
- Loss of bone density (osteoporosis) or bone softening (osteomalacia).
- Nervous system injuries, including numbness and tingling in the feet and hands, possible problems with balance, and cognitive impairment.
What oral problems can celiac disease cause?
In addition to the problems mentioned above, celiac disease can increase the risk of suffering from different oral conditions:
- thrush: These are open, painful ulcers or sores in the mouth.
- Cavities: This appears to be due to structural changes taking place in baby teeth, enamel defects and decreased salivary flow.
- Defects in tooth enamel: undiagnosed or poorly controlled celiac disease during the stages of dental formation can affect the development of enamel, both in milk teeth and in permanent teeth. Experts believe this may be due to the immune reaction caused by gluten, as well as the difficulty that people with celiac disease have in absorbing certain nutrients, such as calcium.
- Delayed tooth development: Milk teeth, as well as permanent teeth, may take longer to come out.
- dry mouth: This may be due to changes in the organic and inorganic composition of the saliva.
How should dental hygiene be?
Due to the increased risk to oral health that celiac disease represents, experts recommend that celiac patients pay special attention to oral hygiene.
This is in part because there is no cure for celiac disease, so the only way to keep your symptoms under control is through a gluten-free diet.
However, exposure to gluten can also occur outside of the diet, as it can be found in other unthinkable places, such as medications, herbal and nutritional supplements, playdough, and pencils or pencils. lip balms.
Toothpaste or mouthwash are no exception, and may contain gluten, so the experts’ recommendation is to consult a doctor or dentist for options. gluten-free.
Beyond choosing gluten-free oral hygiene products, the care that people with celiac disease must take into account does not differ from that that the rest of the people have to carry out.
how to brush teeth
Begin by brushing the outer surfaces of the upper teeth. To do this, open your mouth slightly and position the brush so that it forms a 45° angle with your gums.
Make several circular movements to cover the teeth and gums with the bristles of the brush. But beware! These movements must be gentle, since exerting too much pressure can hurt or irritate the gums.
For the inner faces, place the brush vertically and make several movements from top to bottom, covering the area from fang to fang. For the premolars and molars on each side, a horizontal brush sweep is used.
Once you’re done with your top teeth, you can repeat the process with your bottom teeth.
Finally, it’s time to take care of the language (a step that many people tend to skip). The ideal is to use a tongue scraper, but if you use the brush the procedure will be the same: stick out the tongue and start sweeping from back to front.
After brushing your teeth, you should always rinse your toothbrush with water, store it upright, and let it air dry until you use it again.
It is also advised to keep it separate from other toothbrushes, to avoid cross-contamination, and not to cover it or store it in closed containers, as this can encourage the growth of fungus or bacteria.
Specialists recommend brushing your teeth twice a day, with each brushing lasting two to three minutes. The right time to do this is after eating, before oral bacteria attack the tooth enamel.
Another habit that may seem healthy or that works as a way to reinforce oral hygiene is brushing your teeth many times a day. However, experts warn that this can increase the risk of damaging the gums and wearing away tooth enamel, leaving certain parts of the teeth unprotected.
Other healthy habits
Brushing teeth correctly is a fundamental habit to take care of oral health and prevent different conditions, but not the only one. Keep these measures in mind:
- Replace the toothbrush every three or four months, or when the bristles appear irregular or open.
- Use mouthwash and floss regularly, as bacteria that cause cavities can lodge between the teeth and under the gum line.
- Drink plenty of water, to avoid the accumulation of food debris or bacteria.
- Follow a healthy diet, rich in fruits, vegetables and legumes, while limiting fatty, sugary, fried or very salty products.
- Avoid frequent snacks between meals. This allows better control of oral bacteria with two tooth brushings a day.
- Weak or loose permanent teeth.
- Pain when chewing.
- Red, tender, swollen or bleeding gums.
- Gums that begin to separate from the teeth.
- Persistent bad breath or an unusual taste in your mouth, even after washing.
- Unusual sensitivity to cold and heat.
Another habit that should not be neglected is visits to the dentist. The advisable thing is twice a year, however, you should consult it as soon as possible in front of the appearance of:
Sources consulted: US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), US National Library of Medicine, Celiac.org., Columbia University Celiac Disease Center, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ), Mayo Clinic.