Is there a link between gluten and swollen gums?
Last Saturday I was looking in the fridge for breakfast inspiration and saw an opened pack of sausages. The cardboard outer had come off which meant that they were unlabeled. I hadn’t bought them but as a general rule any sausages in that fridge are gluten free so I cooked ’em and ate ’em.
Did they have gluten in them?
The first sign that they had gluten in was a quick dash to the bathroom.
The second sign was when I noticed that my teeth weren’t fitting together properly anymore. Some teeth seemed to be being pushed further out of the gums than others. Everything felt swollen. My bite is normally ok. At the moment my teeth fit together fine – they are ready to chew at a moments notice!
But after those sausages had been eaten, they weren’t. It reminded me that a few years ago I monitored the fit of my teeth after every meal to see what effect the food had on me. Ability to bite and bleeding gums were 2 of the markers of inflammation I tracked to find out that gluten and dairy were causing problems.
In the five years or so since I had forgotten all about the swollen gums. A little research was needed to find out about the connection between gluten, inflammation and coeliacs or gluten sensitivity.
Is there a connection between gluten and swollen gums?
There is a well known connection between oral health and coeliac disease. Autoimmunity generally is also linked to problems including cavities and bleeding gums. Dr Steven Lin suggests that this is down to a vitamin D deficiency.
Bleeding gums and nosebleeds have also been linked to a vitamin K deficiency. See my post here.
Dr Davis has an interesting perspective from a dental hygienist here where the problems are linked to modern wheat rather than gluten per se and suggesting that a gluten free diet will solve the problems.
So is there a link between gluten and swollen gums? In my one person experiment the answer is definitely yes. If you have an autoimmune disease, the answer is yes probably. If you are sensitive to gluten and your gums are swollen, try cutting it out and see what happens.