How does vitamin deficiency affect oral health?

Vitamin deficiencies can make it harder for your immune system to fend off infections in your mouth. This could increase your risk of periodontal (gum) disease and even tooth loss. Deficiencies of vitamins A and C have been shown to slow the healing process after oral surgery.
Jonathan B. Levine, DMD
A lack of different vitamins can cause several oral health problems:

  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) deficiency: Shiny red lips, sore tongue, cracks and sores at the corner of the mouth.
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin) deficiency: Red and/or swollen tip of tongue with dry, smooth edges, sores at mouth edges, general mouth pain.
  • Vitamin B6 deficiency: Sore burning mouth, sores at edge of mouth, smooth tongue.
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency: Bad breath, sores at edge of mouth, bright red tongue that may have fissures, loss of taste, dry mouth, numbness and bleeding.
  • Vitamin C or A deficiency: Bleeding gums, lowered immune response, infections (like yeast infection) in mouth and impaired taste.
  • Vitamin D deficiency: Softening of teeth, increased bleeding and yeast infections.
Smile!: The Ultimate Guide to Achieving Smile Beauty

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Smile!: The Ultimate Guide to Achieving Smile Beauty

Renowned dentist and creator of the GoSMILE product line Dr. Levine offers this complete guide to getting a whiter, brighter smile. 15 photos & illustrations.

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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.