3 Ways Nutritional Deficiencies Can Hurt Your Mouth

Posted on: 10 May 2018

If you have a nutritional deficiency caused by a medical condition or from a low calorie diet, you may experience fatigue, dizziness, breathlessness, muscle pain, and an abnormal heartbeat. While these are some of the most common symptoms associated with nutritional deficits, other symptoms, such as those that affect your mouth, can develop. Not only can deficiencies hurt your natural teeth, but they may also lead to problems with your dental bridges. Here are three ways nutritional deficiencies can hurt your mouth and what you can do about them:

Burning Tongue

If you notice that your tongue feels like you have burned it, even though you haven't, you may have a nutritional deficiency. Burning tongue syndrome can be related to menopause, nerve damage, and nutritional deficits.

People who consume diets low in B vitamins sometimes experience burning sensations on the tongue, roof of the mouth, gums, and lips. However, once the deficiency has been corrected, symptoms typically resolve. 

If you have a burning tongue, visit your physician. Your physician can order diagnostic blood tests to determine if you are deficient in vitamins or minerals. In the meantime, see your dentist, who will examine your oral cavity for signs of tooth infections, gum disease, or lingual nerve damage, which may also contribute to burning sensations. If your mouth feels irritated because of your deficiencies, your dentist may recommend that you remove your dental bridges until your symptoms resolve. 

Pale Gums

If you have pale gums, you may be deficient in vitamins and minerals. While vitamin deficiencies can lead to pallor of your gums, the most common deficiency that causes your gums to lighten is an iron deficiency. 

When you increase your intake of iron-rich foods, such as lean meats, legumes, and green, leafy vegetables, your gums will probably "pink up" again. If your food intake fails to bring up your iron stores, your physician may recommend that you take an over-the-counter iron supplement to bring your levels back up. 


You may also develop a severe form of gum disease known as periodontitis if you have a nutritional deficiency. If you do not consume enough vitamin C, your gums may suffer. Vitamin C plays an important role in gum health, and if you are deficient, you may experience bleeding gums, red gums, and gum inflammation.

Low vitamin C levels may also raise your risk for periodontitis, which, in addition to sore and bleeding gums, can lead to bone decay in the bones that support your teeth. If you notice changes in your gums, see your dentist who will determine whether you have this severe form of gum disease. 

If you do, add more foods with large amounts of vitamin C to your daily meal plan, such as citrus fruits, juices, and vegetables. If you are unable to tolerate these foods, consider taking a vitamin C supplement to help improve the health of your gum tissue.

If you believe you may have a nutritional deficiency, work with both your dentist and family physician to develop a therapeutic plan of care to keep your mouth and general state of health in optimal condition. For more information, speak to companies like Michael G Landy DDS.