Have you ever wondered how your mouth could be affected by gluten? The answer is yes, and there are gluten intolerance mouth symptoms that you can look for in the mirror.
You can also have your dentist look for them at your next dental appointment.
Believe it or not, dentists are pretty well versed on celiac disease… at times more so than conventional doctors. Powdered gloves used in your dentist’s office do not contain wheat while some home dental care products can contain gluten.
Either way, knowing the gluten intolerance mouth symptoms can help you identify an issue with gluten or know if you’ve been glutened.
To talk further about this, we have a guest author today (a dentist!) to share more on this!
Gluten Intolerance Mouth Symptoms You Need To Know
Guest post by Mark Burhenne, DDS
Have you suspected you have a gluten sensitivity, only to have your doctor dismiss it since you don’t have any digestive issues? This is a common problem for many women.
In the search for answers to your nagging health problems, you might have learned that gluten intolerance can show up in many other ways beyond the gut. It can affect your hormone levels, your weight, and your skin to name a few.
It can also be the source of aches and pains, migraines, chronic sickness, and even things like depression, anxiety, and ADHD.
No wonder 83% of Americans with celiac disease have never been diagnosed or are misdiagnosed!
Did you know that signs of gluten intolerance show up in your mouth, as well?
Here’s the most common gluten intolerance mouth symptoms that you need to know!
Gluten Can Interfere with Enamel Formation
Dentists often see the first signs in the mouths of children.
According to research shared by the American Dental Association, oral signs of of celiac disease in children include: “delays in dental eruption, reduction of salivary flow, recurrent aphthous stomatitis, angular cheilitis, and dental enamel defects in primary and permanent teeth.“
A 2012 study showed that gluten can trigger a self-attacking response in the protein that forms tooth enamel. Without this protective barrier, the teeth are vulnerable to wear, disease, and decay.
Signs of enamel loss in children can help doctors and dentists diagnose gluten intolerance early on, but this isn’t as common in adults. Some have already had dental work, while others haven’t had a gluten sensitivity long enough to do any damage to their teeth.
For adults, there are other signs of gluten intolerance hiding in the mouth.
Other Gluten Intolerance Mouth Symptoms You Should Know
A bad reaction to gluten can show up in any part of your body beyond your belly. This includes the sensitive, absorptive tissues and organs of your mouth and throat.
Here are other gluten intolerance mouth symptoms that point to gluten intolerance:
– Gum disease
– Tonsil stones
– Excessive mucus
– Chronic severe redness in the back of the throat
– Bad breath
– Metallic taste in the mouth
– Red, smooth, shiny tongue (atrophic glossitis)
Have you noticed any of these gluten intolerance mouth symptoms?
Were they mentioned during your last visit to the dentist?
If so, bring them up the next time you’re in the office. And don’t be afraid to mention your suspicion that they could be linked to a gluten sensitivity.
Your Dentist’s Role in Diagnosing Gluten Sensitivity
This might surprise you, but dentists examine more than just your teeth.
For instance, did you know that dentists can screen for sleep disorders?
They also look for any signs of poor health and disease in your mouth — signs that could point to gluten intolerance. If you have any of these gluten intolerance mouth symptoms mentioned above and suspect a gluten sensitivity, talk to your dentist.
Besides treating many of these symptoms, your dentist can refer you to a physician who can test you for gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
Treating the Signs of Gluten Sensitivity in Your Mouth
If you catch them early enough, you can resolve many of these oral health issues by eliminating gluten from your diet. A food diary is a great way to track how foods affect your body and identify hidden sources of gluten that could be triggering your symptoms.
Gluten and Oral Bacteria
Going gluten-free has many health benefits, but there’s something else that can help in your mouth.
We know that maintaining “good” oral bacteria promotes overall health, but it could also be the key to treating gluten intolerance. An interesting study from 2016 showed that certain enzymes in Rothia bacteria, found in human saliva, can break down gluten.
Regardless of whether this proves to be a useful treatment, it highlights the importance of oral bacteria.
1. Stop using antibacterial mouthwash.
Chemicals in mouthwash don’t know the difference between good bacteria and bad bacteria. It kills them both just like prescription antibiotics.
Some research has showed that just one 7-day course of antibiotics can impact your gut for up to 2 years. Imagine what daily use of antibacterial mouthwash is doing!
And, if you have a layer of plaque on your teeth, mouthwash can’t even get to the bad bacteria that causes bad breath!
2. Breathe through your nose.
Mouth breathing is bad for many reasons.
It hinders speech development and facial growth in children, counteracts the effectiveness of braces, and reduces your oxygen levels while sleeping at night.
It also dries out your mouth and lowers its pH level, making it more acidic — the perfect environment for bad bacteria can grow.
3. Boost your probiotics.
Probiotics are a form of good bacteria that provide amazing benefits to the whole body while fighting harmful bacteria. The best way to get more of them is to add probiotic-rich foods like kefir and yogurt to your diet and eat sour foods like vinegars and fermented vegetables.
If you can’t get enough of these foods, you could also take a supplement probiotic as well that’s suited to your particular gut concerns.
By changing your diet and following these tips, you’ll give your body the tools it needs to maintain good oral health and heal itself.
ABOUT THE GUEST AUTHOR
Mark Burhenne, DDS believes that the mouth is a gateway to health in the rest of the body. His blog Ask the Dentist is dedicated to helping people understand the mouth-body connection.
He is the author of the #1 bestseller The 8-Hour Sleep Paradox and is a practicing sleep medicine dentist in California, where patients come to see him from all over the world.
Dr. Burhenne is a TEDx speaker and his advice regularly appears on media outlets such as NPR, CNN, CBS, Yahoo! Health, The Huffington Post, Prevention, and Men’s Health. He received his degree from the Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco and is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and Academy of General Dentistry.