A patient with celiac disease (gluten sensitive enteropathy) may show one or more oral changes. The pain and discomfort associated with these dental problems may contribute to poor nutrition and a worse quality of life.


Factors contributing to the findings:

(1) vitamin deficiencies

(2) protein malnutrition

(3) immunologic abnormalities

(4) hypocalcemia

(5) iron deficiency


Oral manifestations of celiac disease:

(1) hypoplasia of dental enamel

(2) other abnormalities of dentition (delayed eruption, decreased size, etc)

(3) glossitis, including burning tongue

(4) tongue ulcerations

(5) aphthous ulcerations

(6) angular cheilitis

(7) dry mouth from salivary gland dysfunction


Adherence to a gluten-free diet and replacement of deficiencies should correct problems secondary to the celiac disease. Persistence of findings may indicate poor adherence to the diet or another cause.


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