For a healthy lifestyle, energy and vitality are very important, and vitamins play a major role in achieving this. Vitamins boost the autoimmune system that helps to get rid of certain common ailments. Vitamins also help our body to perform at optimum levels.

The mouth and body have a strong connection as what you eat can have an effect on your mouth, and the condition of your mouth will determine what goes into your body.

Tongue and Mouth Vitamin Deficiency

Most of the time, for burning mouth or bleeding gums, the dentist may recommend a vitamin-rich diet. Why? Often, the mouth (in particular the tongue) can be an effective indicator of a vitamin deficiency of the body. Generally, vitamin deficiency in the body results in the breakdown of the tissues of the tongue, leading to a swollen, smooth and beefy red tongue.

Vitamin deficiency occurs due to difficulty in the absorption of nutrients from food, and as mentioned earlier, vitamin deficiency can result in severe effects on the mouth and tongue, changing not only the appearance but also the sensations experienced. Inflammation of the tongue is known as glossitis, and oral symptoms include a sore, smooth and a beefy red tongue. Burning mouth syndrome that causes tingling, burning sensation in the mouth is also caused as a result of certain vitamin deficiency. Let’s see some of the common vitamin deficiencies that manifest as mouth and tongue disorders.

Vitamin B complex

Trouble in the mouth is the indication of low vitamin B complex in the body. A burning sensation in the mouth and tongue is a common effect of B vitamin deficiency. Deficiency of B complex also results in a swollen tongue, and people with this deficiency find it hard to swallow. In particular, folic acid deficiency causes burning sensation in the mouth. It also leads to tingling in the tongue.

  • Angular Cheilitis: Cracks in the corners of the mouth are a sign of vitamin B complex deficiency. It is a sort of fungal infection, resulting in inflammation and cracking in the corners of the mouth. Since B vitamins play a vital role in cell reproduction, the deficiency causes most infections in the mouth and tongue. Since the mouth is a part of the body that is repeatedly scaled and abraded, it is prone to angular cheilitis.
  • Apathous Stomatitis: Vitamin B complex deficiency can cause recurring canker sores, or mouth ulcers. Deficiencies in Vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron are some of the causes of a sore tongue.
  • Chronic Oral Mucosal Candidiasis: This is a fungal infection in the mouth that manifests as thick white colored deposits on the tongue. Poor absorption of nutrients and vitamin deficiencies results in candidiasis. Normally, it does not cause any problem. Severe condition causes symptoms of burning and soreness and a foul taste in the mouth.
  • Atropic Glossitis: Vitamin B12 deficiency causes a smooth tongue also known as atrophic glossitis. The taste buds get degenerated, making the tongue look bald. This also affects the sense of taste.
  • A diet rich in B vitamins is the only remedy for the vitamin deficiency. B vitamins can be found in vegetables, seeds, nuts, whole grains, legumes, and organ meat.  Other common sources are milk, milk products, protein rich foods, leafy vegetables, orange, broccoli, etc.
Vitamin C

Vitamin C aids in the reproduction of connective tissue, collagen. Vitamin C deficiency is known as scurvy that causes bleeding gums. Vitamin C deficiency can be addressed by consuming good sources of vitamin C foods such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, dark green vegetables, broccoli, guava, Brussels sprouts, strawberries, cantaloupe, pepper, etc. Since smoking depletes vitamin C in the body, smokers should increase their intake of vitamin C.

Vitamin A

Healing in the mouth can be delayed due to vitamin A deficiency. Fortified milk, chicken, beef liver, leafy green vegetables, sweet potato, carrots, pumpkin, and fruits such as apricots are good sources of vitamin A. Although vitamin A is vital for cell growth, excess amounts can be stored as fat deposit in the body and can cause joint pain, vomiting, etc. Therefore, high dose supplements are not recommended.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays a vital role in strengthening bones, and a deficiency causes brittle bones. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to periodontal diseases and increase the risks of jaw fracture. When exposed to sunlight, our body itself can make vitamin D. Fortified milk, egg yolk, milk products, fish liver oil, and some cereals are also good sources of vitamin D.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K plays a vital role in the synthesis of protein that allows blood to clot. Deficiency of vitamin K can cause excessive bleeding after a tooth is extracted. Even after cleaning the teeth, there can be an excessive bleeding due to vitamin K deficiency. Some of the best sources of vitamin K include Brussels sprouts, eggs, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, beef, etc.