Did you know when your body does not get the proper amount of nutrition from vitamins it can cause a deficiency that can affect your oral cavity. Vitamins are important for growth, development, maintenance, and repair of healthy teeth, and tissues. The most common vitamin deficiencies that effect your oral cavity are folate or vitamin B, vitamin A, C, and D.
Folate and B Complex Vitamins are critical vitamins especially for women of childbearing age. This vitamin can not be created in the body. When you have a deficiency in these vitamins you are more prone to stomatitis (inflammation of mouth and lips), glossitis (soreness and irritation on tongue), and oral ulcers. These vitamins can be taken in pill form or found in turkey, tuna, liver, and enriched flour products. Vegans need to be aware of this as vitamin B is not commonly found in many vegetables.
Vitamin C is extremely important because it is responsible for the synthesis of collagen. Collagen and Vitamin C are necessary for the creation of dentin, pulp, cementum, periodontal fibers, blood vessels, gingival nerves, connective tissues, and periodontal ligaments. All of those individual things are what make up your teeth and the surrounding bones that hold them in place. The only thing it’s not responsible for is the outer layer of your teeth called Enamel. Vitamin C deficiencies usually cause an increase in bleeding tissues. So, if you floss regularly and find you are still bleeding, try increasing your vitamin C intake. Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits and some vegetables such as Brussel sprouts and broccoli.
Vitamin D is responsible for Enamel. This is why its so important for all of us to make sure we do not have a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D plays a role in the absorption of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium from the gut, allowing proper mineralization of bones and teeth. It’s important for all of us starting from birth all the way through life. Mom’s should know it does not matter if you breast feed, use formula, or combination of both, there is not a sufficient amount of vitamin D. This is why pediatricians recommend the daily vitamin D liquid supplement. As we get older Vitamin D supplements are important to help keep bones strong and decrease risk of osteoporosis.
Vitamin A is not only important for your vision, but it is also important in maintaining mucosal membranes, salivary glands and teeth. A proper amount of Vitamin A decreases risk of brittle teeth, salivary gland degeneration, and decreases risk of decay. Vitamin A rich foods are sweet potatoes, carrots, tuna fish, cantaloupe, dark leafy greens.
Vitamins are an important part of our overall health. Be sure to talk to your oral healthcare provider and your primary care physician if you have any questions or concerns regarding a possible vitamin deficiency.