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Teeth Disorders Clinic for Children with Celiac

The new clinic answers a need to evaluate the teeth of children with celiac who suffer from common teeth enamel disorders and will assist in trials to assess the causes for these disorders following new research led by the Weizmann Institute which showed that celiac sufferers undergo changes in the Immune System which in turn damages teeth enamel
Date: 14.01.24 | Update: 14.01.24
A unique clinic that centralizes the treatment and follow-up of children and youth with celiac who suffer from dental disorders opened recently in the Institute of Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Liver Diseases at Schneider Children's. The clinic is comprised of Prof. Raanan Shamir, Director of the Institute, Prof. Dror Shuval, Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases service, and Dr. Anat Goz-Mark, senior physician in the Institute, together with a team of dieticians.

Celiac is an autoimmune disease that affects the small intestine with multi-system consequences, which can appear at any age after the child is exposed to gluten. The disease is characterized by an infectious reaction to gluten, the protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Celiac can appear without any symptoms at all and thus gained the nickname of the "disease with a thousand faces", and ranges from mild symptoms to severe conditions such as diarrhea, distended abdomen, malabsorption and nutritional deficiencies, stunted growth and more. Celiac is very common and incidence stands between 0.5%-1.5% of children in Israel and Europe. For each case of diagnosed celiac in Israel, there are an additional 7 undiagnosed cases. Untreated celiac can lead to long-term complications including damage to bones, fertility, development and more. The earlier the disease is diagnosed and appropriate nutrition assigned, the more likely the child will overcome the symptoms and live safely with celiac.

Prof. Shamir notes that "in recent years, we have witnessed a dramatic rise in the incidence of celiac disease in the Western World in general, and in Israel in particular, and the Institute currently follows the care of more than 2000 children with celiac, including over 200 new cases each year."

One of the research studies recently published in the leading international journal, Nature, deciphered the mechanism causing damage to teeth in celiac patients. The researchers demonstrated that celiac sufferers and those with a rare genetic syndrome, undergo changes in the Immune System that cause damage to the enamel that envelops each tooth. The research was led by the Weizmann Institute of Science, in cooperation with doctors in the Institute of Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Liver Diseases at Schneider Children's. The new discovery could accord the early identification of the disease in children and perhaps contribute to preventive care.

Patients in the new clinic at Schneider Children's will be allowed to participate in the research that characterizes enamel damage and the continued study of the other mechanisms, utilizing advanced equipment and in cooperation with dentists, headed by Prof. Esti Davidowitz, of Hadassah Medical Center and University in Jerusalem. Similarly, the clinic integrates new breakthrough studies conducted by the Institute such as those attempting to identify new signs of celiac.

To make an appointment, kindly contact the Institute at 972-3-9253673 or send an email to [email protected].

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