Dental enamel defects and screening for coeliac disease

S. Martelossi, E. Zanatta, E. Del Santo, P. Clarich, P. Radovich, A. Ventura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Specific dental enamel defects (DEDs) in permanent teeth are frequently observed in coeliac patients. We examined the permanent teeth in 6949 secondary school children living in Trieste (78% of 8724 children born between 1978 and 1982). Children with DEDs were tested for serum antigliadin antibodies (AGAs) and antiendomysium antibodies (AEAs), and those positive for serum AGAs and/or AEAs underwent intestinal biopsy. Specific DEDs were observed in 52 children (0.59% of the total population examined). Serum AGAs and/or AEAs were positive in 10 cases. Nine patients underwent intestinal biopsy (one refused) and in four cases a flat mucosa was documented (one with short stature, three completely asymptomatic). The known incidence of CD in the study area was 1:1000 before the study programme and 1:670 (an increase of 44%) after it. Dental enamel inspection may be utilized for detecting undiagnosed coeliac disease in symptom-free schoolchildren. This clinical test is probably less sensitive than serum AGA screening test, but deserves some consideration because it is cheap, easy to perform and well accepted by the population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-48
Number of pages2
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics, Supplement
Issue number412
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Coeliac disease
  • dental enamel defects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Dental enamel defects and screening for coeliac disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this