Objective.  The aim of this study was to investigate whether Dutch children with proven coeliac disease show specific dental enamel defects, and to asses whether children with the same gastrointestinal complaints, but proved no-coeliac disease, lack these specific dental enamel defects.

Materials and methods.  Eighty-one children (53 coeliac patients and 28 control subjects) were examined during the period 2003–2004 in the Oral Surgery Outpatient Clinic of the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam.

Result.  Twenty-nine (55%) coeliac patients had enamel defects against 5 (18%) control subjects. In the coeliac disease group, the enamel defects were diagnosed as specific in 20 (38%) children, compared with 1 (4%) in the control group. Statistical analysis showed significantly more specific enamel defects in children with coeliac disease than in children in the control group (χ2 = 12.62, d.f. = 2, P = 0.002).

Conclusion.  This study showed significantly more specific enamel defects in Dutch children with coeliac disease as compared with children in the control group. Dentists could play an important role in recognizing patients with coeliac disease.