Dental Problems related to Crohns???

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 4/8/2008 7:03 PM (GMT -7)   
I went to the dentist today because one night at supper I bit my fork and it loosened a front tooth. So the dentist looks at my teeth and does an xray. Well after the first xray he decides that he needs to take another 5 of different angles and all different teeth. So after all the xrays he comes in to talk to me and tells me that he has no good news for me. Me thinking that he is just kidding says to him well what kind of news do you have for me? Lol he says not any goods news, I"m sorry. So then I asked him for the news that he did have for me. He proceeds to tell me that I have a root degenerative problem and that it is not usually seen in someone as young as me. I'm 23 by the way. So he asked me if I had ever had any trauma to my mouth. Car accidents, fights, etc. I have not had any of the above so we quit talking about it and I went to another nurse to get my teeth cleaned. In the process she also starts asking me about any traume. Still my answer to her is no, never and trauma. After she was done cleaning my teeth she says she wants to get the dentist to come back in. So she goes to get him and he sits down and starts talking to me. He comes back in and says that him and three other nurses have been talking about my problem. After the xrays he found that my very front TWO teeth and the one right beside them on the right side have very bad roots on them. So he tells me that I am going to loose these three teeth! I'm only 23 I can NOT cope with losing my front teeth!! Reguardless of options of bridges or implants and all I am still having trouble coping with going to lose my front teeth!! Anyway after talking more about Trauma and other things I asked him about would any helth problems play a role in root degeneration. Him and his nurse spoke up QUICKLY and said so you have any health problems? So I told them yes I have Crohns. You should have seen the looks on there faces. Well the dentist said that he was not for certain but he thinks that could be a very big possibility! Has anyone had any type of dental problems that are Crohns related? Has anyone ever heard anything about dental problems being related to Crohns? Thanks for any replies!!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 532
   Posted 4/8/2008 7:36 PM (GMT -7)   
I just want to say that I hope you will get a second opinion, did he give you a name for the condition, etc. I have always had dental issues, probably due to nutritional factors involved with crohn's and absorption, but I am 60 and still have a lot of teeth left. Good luck sorting this out.
Humira, pred and entocort 1/08
3 small bowel resections, 1 for perforation, 2 for strictures 

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1488
   Posted 4/8/2008 7:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Sparkles-

I am so glad you posted this problem because I've haven't read a whole lot here about dental related problems with CD. I can't give you any documented proof, just my experiences. I am now 46 years old and have had my diagnosis as of Jan '06. I have spent a small fortune in my lifetime on the "save the tooth" routine. I've had several bouts of peridonal disease and zinc deficiencies. After the birth of my 3rd child when I was 23 years old..had my kids back to teeth began to crumble, literally! I had also had adequate medical care & prenatal care prior to all my pregnancies. Having said this, NONE of the root canals, crowns, bridges, etc. ever seated correctly nor were considered successful for more than a year at the time. By the time I reached 43 years of age, I had 7 of my top teeth still in my head, mostly the ones on the front. The straw that broke the camel's back was when one of my front teeth broke in half biting into a hamburger bun! That's it, I wasn't spending another $1800.00 on root canal/crown for one tooth again. So...I had them pull the remaining teeth on top and wouldn't you know it during the procedure they couldn't keep me completely numb! It took them 14 shots of novacaine before they got down to the last tooth and it broke in half as they were trying to pull it. I looked at the surgeon and said, "well, it will only hurt for a moment...grab hold and yank that #$%^&* out! He did and fitted me the same day with a full upper plate which matched my lower natural teeth perfectly. Now, I'm not particularly a vain person but I was sooo very excited to see a real smile again when I walked out of his office that day I can't begin to tell you I'll never regret that decision! Only thing is, with the CD you may want a couple of pairs cause when you lose weight your gums will shrink and they don't fit properly. All said and done, no one except my husband and kids even know I wear a full plate and I get compliments all the time on what a pretty smile I have. With the CD, you won't be "crunchin'" on too much anyway. IMHO, yes, my dental problems were CD related because of the problems I apparently had absorbing the zinc.
Dx'd Jan'06, 1st Resection 7/06, Predinsone, Humira, Imuran, B12 injections, Nexium. Secondary conditions: Psorasis, Acne, Fatigue, Joint Pain, Lactose Intolerant, gallstones, fibroid cysts, peri-menopausal.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 4/8/2008 7:44 PM (GMT -7)   
My teeth ached and felt loose and very fragile the whole time I was on steroids and for some time after that. I also reckon my teeth went much yellower. I used to smile readily but now I am very conscious of it. I also had part of a tooth break off while I was eating a burger (theoretically nothing really hard in it, but I try not to think about it). I asked the dentist at the time if she knew of any effects on teeth from steroids, or Crohn's. She hadn't heard of anything but did tell me she had another patient who thought his teeth had worsened during steroid treatment. I will be interested to hear what people have to say.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1202
   Posted 4/8/2008 9:32 PM (GMT -7)   
I went for years (15?) not needing a filling. Then I took steroids for 6 months... After that I needed 3 or 4. (I did not have a second opinion, but this dentist has seen me before and not suggested crazy amounts of fillings.) They did seem to think that the steroids, like causing bone loss, could cause tooth issues. My step-mother is a dental hygenist and had not heard of such. But, she also hadn't heard any indication that steroids did not cause tooth issues. That was about 4 years ago.

Last fall I went for my cleaning and ended up in tears! The hygenist there was telling me I had general gum/tooth health issues. (I brush and floss regularly, but I was late for my cleaning due to a horrid Crohn's flare with that hemorrhage.) When she heard about me having Crohn's she went on about how the body health affects the tooth health.

So, I don't really know anything, beyond sharing my experiences. But, it will be interesting to hear if others have had this come up!
--39 year old female, dx as UC in '04 (1st symptoms in '03), switched to Crohn's in '05, 1 fistula, crohn's colitis, limited to large intestine
--rejected (reaction/didn't work): Asacol, AZA, 6-MP, MTX, Remicade, Humira, prednisone
--stuck on methylprednisolone, tried Prochymal in Phase III study (can't wait til it's approved!)
--started Tysabri 3/21/08
--single mom to 10-year-old girl

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/8/2008 11:46 PM (GMT -7)   
I also have dental issues. I am 28 and my dentist told me when I was 18 that i would need dentures before I am 30. I am going to the dentist reluctantly next week to discuss getting dentures. The Dr. that diagnosed me when I was 15 told me that dental problems go along with CD. I have gone as far as biting into a piece of bread and my front tooth completely breaking. Im sorry to hear that you are having this problem as well, good luck!
28 Years old, DX at age 15, 2 bowel resections, 2 blood transfusions, hospitalization atleast 3 times a year.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 3141
   Posted 4/9/2008 1:00 PM (GMT -7) dentist has a daughter with CD. i didn't pick him for that (he was a high school classmate of my husbands). We have had some talks about CD affecting my teeth and he did not have any more info than I had. He has been avoiding CD research as it scared him about his daughter.

Our talks always come back to....any medical issue can affect your mouth. He thinks that bacteria issues may be a reason for my high count of cavities. There are also the nutritional issues. Dehydration is also a big cause of problems he said.
They just found two more cavities last Friday. However, my sister with UC has only one cavity????
Someone mentioned yellowing...I have that too and i do not smoke and drink little coffee. Perhaps that is a commonality too.

Our current course of action is to do inlay fillings instead of crowns as soon as possible and avoid standard fillings. he thinks that my teeth degenerate faster with standard amalgams in them and crowns are hard to keep clean (the bacteria issues).
I would definitely get another opinion by the way.
Dx'd '90 (emergency rupture), symptoms ignored long before that, '03 fistulas and bad flagyl reactions, B12 weekly, Pentasa [until I surrender to the bigger meds]
I'm riding on the escalator of life....

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 4/9/2008 1:39 PM (GMT -7)   
The pointy tooth on my bottom right has some unexplained issue. It looks like it is dying from the inside. I may need a root canal eventually. My dentist wants me to get my xrays from my old dentist so he can compare. I did have trauma to my teeth when I had a ski accident. I chipped all the sealant off and bruised the elastic muscles that hold your teeth in place. So there is a chance that may have caused mine. Also, I wore braces and a retainer which can cause teeth problems too. They don't really think my crohns is my issue.
26 Year old married female law student.  Diagnosed w/ CD 3 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD.  I am sort of lactose intollerant too but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid.  For crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn.  I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13.  I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium.  Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night.  I alos take a birth control pill to allow some fun in my life.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 261
   Posted 4/9/2008 2:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Sparkles -
I have to say that I have serious reservations about what your dentist told you.  I would strongly recommend that you find another dentist.
Good luck.

map lady
Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 154
   Posted 4/9/2008 3:08 PM (GMT -7)   

I know a lady at work who has UC, we were complaining together about how much we hate prednisone and she mentioned "oh and it makes my teeth hurt sooo bad!" and I was like 'OMG ME TOO, I thought I just need to use fluoride more often or something".

I went to the dentist and asked if he could give me a fluoride treatment or two, since that helps with tooth sensitivity and I told him I was on prednisone and he was like "oh yeah, that stuff will make your teeth hurt for sure, you also have to worry about damage to your bone structure in your mouth where it will can your teeth more likely to fall out".

I asked him if my teeth were yellow all the time from the prednisone and he said "kinda, part of the problem is that the prednisone seems to damage your enamel and/or keep it from rebuiding itself the way it usually would.  when your enamel isn't being maintained properly your teeth hurt, and when your enamel is thinned out you can see the dentin of your teeth more clearly, and the dentin in your teeth is more yellowy than your enamel usually is."

So...yeah, between the vitamin deficiencies and steroids, having crohn's can really mess up your teeth.  I'm gonna throw my lot in with the "dentures are awesome" boat, I have heard nothing but horror stories from people who tried unsuccessfully to save their teeth or replace individual ones, and people with dentures said the only bad part was getting their other teeth pulled to have the dentures installed.  Plus, dentures are waaaaay cheaper. 

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 176
   Posted 4/10/2008 5:05 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Sparkles,

I would definitely seek out a second or even a third opinion!

Good luck!!

53 year old female;
Have had Crohn's of terminal ileum for 8 yrs, but finally accepted diagnosis when it was confirmed Feb. 2008.
Allergic to Pentasa and Entocort.  Will go on 6-MP in a few months.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 900
   Posted 4/10/2008 10:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sparkles,
I have had Cd for 30 odd years and always had problems with my teeth. Spent a fortune on them....dentists back then told me I had soft teeth.... so no matter how many times I brushed, I always had cavities up to the wazoo. After a very severe flare up a few years ago, my teeth began to crumble. I would wake up at night and have a mouth full of broken teeth. Dentists told me I had the same root problem as you are talking about. It was sooooo painful. I opted to have my teeth, the remaining bits removed and get dentures....I was 46.
Do get a second, maybe a third opinion. You are far too young to lose your teeth. Good luck sweetie. Keep us posted.
51 yr.old retired RN,Crohn's D for last35 yrs..severe esophagitis, migraines,strictures,urethral stricture,depression,probable MS.,RLS, arthritis

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 4/11/2008 12:34 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree about getting another opinion, as it never hurts in any regards to your health....

I have been dealing with CD 17 yrs straight, no full remission at all and have been on and off pred over quite a few of those yrs BUT...I'm very lucky to not have any severe dental issues that you guys speak my knowledge teeth (like pretty much everything) are very hereditary, so besides CD being a very possible explanation to be at such a young age and have such dental issues, be sure to look at family history as's like with pregnancy and IBD, alot of women believe that they have issues with getting pregnant and such soley because of their CD and although CD could be part of or even the whole reason, it's not the case for every woman (which I can personally vouch for).

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 732
   Posted 4/11/2008 9:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Well I went to the dentist yesterday ( kicking and screaming ) and guess what he said to me "have you ever had any trauma to your mouth that you can remember? "

Well, no I haven't !! And clearly he doesnt kmow much about CD because he is aware that I have it but wasn't saying it had anything to do with it ... I have the discoloration on my front teeth and was told that due to "trauma' they will most likely not be whitened -

ouch...lots of broken teeth too...
Dx with Crohns 23 years ago
1 surgery ; 15 years ago ... 
Cervical DDD and restless leg syndrome
Currently on ;  Requip ,  Diovan ( for high bp )

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 4/11/2008 10:26 AM (GMT -7)   
My dentist says that steriods DO cause tooth damage because of the enamel coming off.  I took high dose steroids for 3 years in 1993-94- 95. I didn't have any problems until about 3 years ago and now I have probably 30 fillings. I had only 3 in 43 years before this started in about 2004. My dentist says it a takes a while for the enamel to break down.

Glad Bag
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 699
   Posted 4/11/2008 10:35 AM (GMT -7)   
i wonder if it's the steroids I was on for years that cause me to have screwed up teeth as well, but it's just a wonder.

I tend to think it is more genetic. Both grandmothers, and both my parents, have screwed up teeth and gums too...

I told my Dad one day sarcastically, "Gee pops, thanks a lot for giving me such great teeth!"

He quipped back with, "I am responsible for giving them to you, you are responsible for dealing with it"

Although he was trying to be funny, he is actually right. It doesn't really matter what causes someone to have bad teeth, only that they take care of them, so just keep going to the dentist. As long as you keep going, you will have a good just might cost you a small fortune, as it has me.
"I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together!" - The Beatles

doesn't that just sound cool when you sing it?

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 497
   Posted 4/11/2008 11:32 PM (GMT -7)   

Sparkles, I wish you the best of luck! 

I have "suspected" Crohn's and I have noticed so far that sometimes my gums are normal and sometimes they are very swollen and painful.  I have a dental appointment next week...I have kept putting it off and putting it off, but this time I am going.  Between the mouth sores and the gum inflammation, it has not been very enticing to think about going to the dentist!

I am 31 and have had 3 fillings in my life.  It will be interesting to see what happens as time goes on.  I have been on oral prednisone for about a month now--scary what it can do to your teeth!

Keep us posted for sure! 






Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 4/14/2008 5:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Forgot to say earlier... on the enamel issue, I had a dentist tell me I was brushing my teeth too hard because I was scrubbing off the enamel.  Is that even possible?  Perhaps that was a sign that my enamel wasn't in good shape...

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 4/15/2008 12:20 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm sure all the vomiting that comes with some flare-ups doesn't help much either.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 6/2/2009 8:00 AM (GMT -7)   
4 cavities that I have to have fixed just this last dentist appt

Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease:_All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.

I will find a way or make one. –Phillip Sidney 1554-1586

All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.

The Bucket List- Have you found joy in your life?  Has your life brought joy to others?

Make sure your suffering has meaning…

Post Edited (MMMNAVY) : 6/2/2009 9:24:56 AM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 269
   Posted 6/2/2009 8:26 AM (GMT -7)   
I was on pred for about 12 months and in that time and the following 6 months I had 6 fillings. I was due to have an implant (my dentist was trained by one of the leading world experts in implants). It was decided not to do the implant becasue of the probs pred can cause with bones. They didnt want to do the implant just on the basis that I might take pred again in the future.
Diagnosed 2005.
Current medication  -  infliximab infusions, ranitidine, ferrous sulphate, Vitamin B12 injections, asacol

New Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 5/29/2010 10:39 AM (GMT -7)   
I know this is an older thread, but thought I'd post and see if anyone has anything to update this topic.

I have always taken care of my teeth, even though I had quite a few crowns & inlays put in over the years, but the last 5 years have been a disaster. I was misdiagnosed for years before they looked for Crohn's. For at least 2 years, I would go into vomiting bouts (and excruciating pain) for 15-18 hrs at a time. This started occurring every 6 weeks and gradually increased to where it was every 3 or 4 days. I was developing blockages and fistulas, resulting in emergency surgery.

So you can imagine what that did to the enamel on my teeth. I have had several teeth just break off in pieces at the gum line and then had to have the remainder pulled, usually just a filling attached to the root. I now have 3 gold crowns where the tooth underneath, at the gum line again, are getting loose and need to be taken out. I'm sure the tooth underneath is pretty much a goner on each one.

At this rate, I won't have any teeth in the back. I'm really upset by this and dread the thought of dentures/plates. I have a very bad gag reflex, so this is not going to be easy. I brush with peroxide daily and floss, but nothing seems to help. Why is there no research on this? And if there is, can someone direct me to it?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 794
   Posted 5/29/2010 11:44 AM (GMT -7)   
An interesting topic.
My son has issues with his teeth and has done so from quite an early age. His baby teeth were a mess and several had completely broken down but to try and preserve the spaces for his adult teeth they were left in site and covered with a metal type shield, has check ups every 3 months and has also had fluoride coatings put on his teeth.
Is it down to the crohns? I don't know but his sister who has basically been brought up the same(same foods etc) who is two years older has never had a filling, never mind anything else and I have had no treatment in over 17 years.
So, poor dental hygiene, bad luck or another unfortunate side affect of Crohns?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1201
   Posted 5/29/2010 1:22 PM (GMT -7)   

Always get a second/third opinion. My oldest daughter who has always had perfect checkups- never a cavity, was told she had 4 cavities, while my totally candy-eating daughter was told she had none. Caused me to get a 2nd opinion. Turns out the first dentist was DEAD WRONG! The oldest daughter's teeth were/are perfect, while the candy-huggin kid had to get 2 replacements and another filled. 

Also, be wary of dentists who tell you you need a special "deep cleaning" instead of the regular insurance-covered cleaning. My 2 daughters (and I) were told by that first dentist that our teeth were so bad, that we needed that deep cleaning- at an extra $100 a pop. They wouldn't agree to just do the regularly insurance-covered cleaning and refused to serve me if I didn't fork over the extra money for the "deep cleaning". Got a 2nd opinion. Wrong again. I found out that one would have to be from a third world country, or not have good dental habits at all to need that costly treatment. Beware. There are some dentists out to scam you.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 222
   Posted 5/29/2010 4:24 PM (GMT -7)   
I have always had issues with my teeth since I was little. The dentist actually said i have soft teeth,whatever that means.I eat something thats too hard or too chewy and my teeth break! I also think that our teeth do get worse with the amount of medication we are on and certainly vomitting does affect the teeth as it is acidic. I have managed to keep nearly all of my teeth but have had to have a few back ones out but I also have receding gums which can be painful sometimes.
If I were you I would get a second opinion and try and keep your teeth as long as possible"
Michelle 40 years old
Diagnosed with CD 2004 (undiagnosed correctly +- 3 years, wrongly diagnosed with IBS)
Bowel resection 2005
medication: pentasa 500mg , Co-codomol 500mg/32mg codeine
loperamide 2mg (prn - take as many as 10-20 a day)
calcium tablets, multivitamin tablets, Omega 3
Ferrous sulphate(anaemia)
levothyroxine (thyroid)
questran light (3 sachets/day), 3 monthly B12 Injections

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