Can Vitamin B12 Deficiency Affect Oral Health?

Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient responsible for a range of bodily functions, including nerve function and the production of red blood cells.

Varun Verma
Written by: Varun VermaUpdated at: Apr 28, 2023 18:46 IST
Can Vitamin B12 Deficiency Affect Oral Health?

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Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient responsible for a range of bodily functions, including nerve function and the production of red blood cells. A deficiency in this important vitamin can lead to a host of health issues, including problems with dental health. Here's how vitamin B12 deficiency impacts your oral health.

Impacts of Vitamin B12 Deficiency on Dental Health

Gum Disease

Vitamin B12 deficiency can impact your health in many ways and affecting your dental health through the development of gum disease is one of them. Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is a common condition that is caused by an accumulation of bacteria in the mouth. When the bacteria build up, they can irritate the gums, causing inflammation and infection.

Vitamin B12 is necessary for the formation of healthy red blood cells, which help transport oxygen to the gums and other tissues in the body. Without enough vitamin B12, the gums can get weakened and more susceptible to infection. A study published by the Journal of Clinical Periodontology has shown that vitamin B12 deficiency can contribute to the development and progression of gum disease.

Also ReadGingivitis Vs Periodontitis: How The Gum Diseases Differ

Oral Thrush & Dry Mouth

Vitamin B12 deficiency has also been linked to a range of other dental issues, including oral thrush, a condition that causes white patches to develop on the tongue and other parts of the mouth. The deficiency of this vitamin can also lead to a condition known as burning mouth syndrome, which causes a burning sensation in the mouth and tongue.

Sore and Red Tongue

Vitamin B12 can also lead to soreness and redness of the tongue, known as glossitis. In a research published by National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), atrophic glossitis could be an indicator of vitamin B12 deficiency.

In glossitis, you may feel inflammation of the tongue with microscopic bumps. Severe tongue inflammation can produce swelling and redness, as well as pain, which can affect how you eat and communicate.

Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 deficiency is a common condition, particularly in older adults, vegans, and vegetarians. Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can include weakness, fatigue, pale skin, and a sore tongue. In some cases, however, symptoms may be more subtle and go unnoticed for some time.

Also ReadVitamin B12: Deficiency, Causes & Complications

Diagnosis of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Fortunately, vitamin B12 deficiency is relatively easy to diagnose and treat. A simple blood test can determine whether a person is deficient in this vitamin, and supplements can be taken to correct the deficiency. In some cases, dietary changes may also be recommended to increase vitamin B12 intake.

Milk, salmon, and vitamin B12-fortified foods are all good sources of B12. Furthermore, because your body needs B12 when metabolising sugar, lowering your sugar intake may also increase the quantity of vitamin B12 in your blood.


If you are experiencing any symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency or dental health issues, it is important to seek the advice of a medical professional. By addressing the underlying cause of the problem, you can help to improve your overall health and reduce your risk of developing more serious health issues down the line.

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