Dental enamel defects in celiac disease


Liisa Aine, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University Hospital of Tampere, SF-33520 Tampere, Finland


The teeth of 40 adults aged 19 to 67 yr with celiac disease (CD) were examined for dental enamel defects (ED). A total of 33 of the 40 adults with CD (83%) had systematic ED in contrast to only 5 of the 112 clinical controls (4%). Unspecific enamel lesions were found in both groups, but they were more common in the control group (80% vs. 18%). Altogether 69% of the permanent teeth in adults with CD were found to be defected, in clinical controls only 19%. In adults with CD the ED were in contrast to those in controls symmetrically and chronologically distributed in all four sections of dentition. The present study clearly shows that symmetrically and chronologically distributed enamel defects are strongly associated with CD. Therefore in the absence of symptoms and signs of malabsorption dentists could easily select the right patients possibly suffering from CD for gastroenterologic consultations.