What dental problems can be caused by vitamin deficiencies?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Your oral health coach (hygienist) can help you identify which vitamin deficiency you may have and offer you healthy, safe ways to incorporate them back into your system.
  • Loose teeth, premature tooth loss, softening of teeth and bleeding of gums are all signs that you need more calcium. We suggest having more milk, yogurt, cheese, tofu, canned sardines or salmon and spinach.
  • Inflamed gum tissue is a sign that you need more magnesium, and you can find it in halibut, artichokes, spinach, broccoli, green beans, tofu, cashews and sunflower seeds.
  • Shiny red lips and a sore tongue are signs that you need more vitamin B2, which can be found in almonds, broccoli, spinach, kale and lentils.
  • Red and/or swollen tip of tongue with dry, smooth edges and general mouth pain are signs that you need more vitamin B3. Try eating more avocados, potatoes, lean ground beef, liver and shrimp.
  • A sore, burning mouth or a smooth tongue shows a lack of vitamin B6 in your diet. You can fix this by adding more bananas, watermelon, broccoli, spinach, tomato juice, acorn squash, white rice and chicken breast.
  • Sores at the edge of the mouth can mean you are missing a multitude of nutrients, such as vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. A more well-rounded diet including almonds, potatoes, lean ground beef, bananas and poultry will help to fix this.
  • Bad breath, a bright red tongue that may have fissures, loss of taste, dry mouth, numbness and bleeding are signs that you need more vitamin B12, which you can find in poultry, fish, shellfish, meats, milk and eggs.
  • Bleeding gums, lowered immune response, infections in the mouth (such as a yeast infection) and impaired taste shows a lack of vitamin C or A in your diet. Add more spinach, broccoli, red bell peppers, snow peas, kiwi, mango, orange, grapefruit juice, strawberries, carrots, kale or other green leafy vegetables, papaya, peaches, red pepper and winter squash to your diet.
  • Softening of teeth, increased bleeding and yeast infections of the mouth are signs of a lack of vitamin D, which can be found in egg yolk, fortified milk, liver and fatty fish.
  • Loss of sensation in the tongue, loss of taste, dry mouth and susceptibility to gum disease are all signs of a lack of zinc in your diet and can be solved by adding more spinach, green peas, lentils, tomato juice, turkey (dark meat), lean ground beef, lean sirloin steak, plain yogurt, Swiss cheese and ricotta cheese.
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Vitamins are important to your oral health. Without the necessary vitamins, it is possible that your bones in your jaw muscles and roots of teeth can become loose, causing loose teeth. A lack of vitamins can cause other mouth problems, such as infections, bleeding or swelling. Dry mouth and bad breath are also among the possibilities. It is important to see your dentist if you experience any oral health problems. 

By eating a well-balanced you can ensure you are getting the necessary nutrients and vitamins, which will have many benefits including to your oral health.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.