Can folic acid (folate) help with oral health?

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Some studies indicate that people with low levels of folate (or folic acid, the synthetic form of this vitamin) in their blood are at higher risk for gum disease. Mouth sores and tongue swelling can also be symptoms of a folate deficiency.

Folate is a water-soluble B vitamin (vitamin B9) found in foods including leafy green vegetables, peas, beans, nuts and fruit. (Water-soluble means the vitamins are not stored in the body and must be replaced each day.) Folate is vital to the formation of healthy cells in the body and is essential to DNA and RNA, genetic material found in all cells. For more information about folate and whether you are getting enough of this important nutrient, ask your doctor.

Some research suggests that folic acid, otherwise known as folate or Vitamin B9, is associated with less bleeding in people with gingivitis. Many people in the US already receive at least some folic acid in their diets, because the US FDA requires folic acid to be added to grain products that are used to make bread, pasta, cereal and other products. Folic acid is also present in many multivitamins.

Continue Learning about Vitamin B9

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.