Dental enamel defects in adult coeliac disease: Prevalence and correlation with symptoms and age at diagnosis

Published:April 08, 2013DOI:



      Coeliac disease is a condition characterized by a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations. Any organ can be affected and, among others, dental enamel defects have been described. Our aims were to study the prevalence of dental enamel defects in adults with coeliac disease and to investigate a correlation between the grade of teeth lesion and clinical parameters present at the time of diagnosis of coeliac disease.


      A dental examination was performed in 54 coeliac disease patients (41 F, mean age 37 ± 13 years, mean age at diagnosis 31 ± 14 years). Symptoms leading to diagnosis were diarrhoea/weight loss (32 pts.), anaemia (19 pts.), familiarity (3 pts.); none of the patients was diagnosed because of enamel defects. At the time of evaluation, they were all on a gluten-free diet. Enamel defects were classified from grade 0 to 4 according to its severity.


      Enamel defects were observed in 46/54 patients (85.2%): grade 1 defects were seen in 18 patients (33.3%) grade 2 in 16 (29.6%), grade 3 in 8 (14.8%), and grade 4 in 4 (7.4%). We also observed that grades 3 and 4 were more frequent in patients diagnosed with classical rather than non-classical coeliac disease (10/32 vs. 2/20). However, this was not statistically significant.


      This study confirms that enamel defects are common in adult coeliac disease. Observation of enamel defects is an opportunity to diagnose coeliac disease.


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