How Changing the Makeup of Spit Might Cure Gluten Sensitivity


Dentist and team talking to dental patientHow long has it been since you enjoyed a slice of toast for breakfast, a club sandwich for lunch, or pizza for dinner? For patients suffering from celiac disease, these simple meal staples are all off the menu. If you have gluten sensitivity, eating any of these or other delicious, doughy treats can lead to painful and unfortunate health effects. While most people simply change their lifestyle and learn to enjoy gluten-free foods, it can be a real struggle to always say no to the delicious slice of cake or chewy bagel. There are many so called “treatments” for celiac disease, and people who try them experience varying and inconsistent results. However, there may be a better treatment for many patients with gluten sensitivity right around the corner. Research shows that many celiac disease sufferers lack an essential salivary enzyme that helps the body break down gluten.

Gluten Sensitivity Research

At Boston University, Dr. Eva Helmerhorst was studying the enzymes that break down gluten in the stomach. As a molecular and cell biologist, Dr. Helmerhorst is ideally positioned to understand the struggles faced by those patients who suffer from celiac disease. Unfortunately, their stomach enzymes just aren’t strong enough to break down gluten on their own. Most people, receive extra help from oral bacteria and enzymes as well as bacteria in the gut. Dr. Helmerhorst’s research indicates that those patients who struggle with gluten sensitivity often have inadequate levels of a specific oral enzyme that helps the body successfully breakdown gluten.

How This Research Affects Your Care

If you’re one of the millions of people suffering from celiac disease the results of this ongoing research may mean you can look forward to taking a bite out of a baguette in the near future without regretting it later. Dr. Helmerhorst and her colleagues hope to create a treatment that increases production of these salivary enzymes to assist patients with celiac disease in successfully digesting gluten.

Let the La Costa Dental Team Help

At La Costa Dental, we are dedicated to helping patients in Corpus Christi, Beaumont, Port Arthur, and throughout south Texas, lead their happiest, healthiest lives. While we don’t quite have the technology or therapy available to treat celiac disease with saliva just yet, we can help you achieve your healthiest smiles to ensure your oral enzymes and bacteria are doing their work when it comes to breaking down foods into the essential nutrients for your body. Please don’t hesitate to contact our team to schedule an appointment or find out more about how obtaining your optimal oral health can enhance your smile health. We have five convenient south Texas locations, including three Corpus Christi practices on Ayers Street, Kostoryz Road, and Leopard Street as well as our family-friendly dental offices in Beaumont and Port Arthur.