Dental enamel defects in first-degree relatives of children with coeliac disease

Hippokratia 2000, 4(4):147-151

P. Thanoulis, S. Karida-Kavalioti, S. Stefanidis, P. Augustidou-Savopoulou, F. Kanakoudi-Tsakalidou, S. Herakis, A. Genalis


It is known that denial enamel defects are present in children with coeliac disease. Similar defects have been reported in adults with coeliac: disease. The aim of this study was to find out whether dental enamel defects can be used to screen for coeliac disease among apparently healthy first-degree relatives of coeliac disease children. 54 healthy first-degree relatives of 27 children and adolescents with coeliac disease, aged 4-55 years, 35 parents and 19 siblings, were studied. The dental examination was performed using the dmf and DMF incides and dental enamel defects were evaluated using the modified DDE index. In all relatives antigliadin (AGA), antireticulin (ARA) and antiendomysium antibodies (EMA) were estimated. Dental enamel defects were found in 5 out of 54 relatives (9%). All of them had normal titer of AGA and negative ARA and EMA. From the remaining 49 relatives, only 1 had increased titer of AGA and positive ARA and EMA, and small bowel biopsy showed typical lesions of coeliac disease.In conclusion, dental enamel defects in the first-degree relatives of coeliac disease children are not unusual but were not found to be correlated with the presence of positive antibodies to coeliac disease.In our opinion, first-degree relatives should be frequently referred to a gastroenterologist for an examination and the role of dentists is important in screening patients possible suffering from atypical coeliac disease.