The mouth is typically the first place to show signs of vitamin deficiencies. An unbalanced or unhealthy diet can result in a lack of these elements in your body, which, in severe cases, can lead to the breakdown of normal body functions, making you susceptible to diseases and other health problems.
Dr. Dianne Sainsbury, dentist at Smilefocus, shares 5 signs that could mean something bigger.
1. A swollen tongue
A lack of vitamin B complex can cause your tongue to swell, making it difficult to swallow. The tissues on the insides of your cheek may also look pale, break apart and slough off easily.
2. Burning sensations in your mouth
A folic acid (vitamin B9) deficiency may cause a burning sensation in the mouth, especially on the tongue, and poor foetal development during early pregnancy.
3. Gastrointestinal problems
Severe vitamin B12 deficiencies may cause numbness, tingling limbs and gastrointestinal problems.
4. Poor gums or tooth health
Insufficient vitamin C may cause bleeding gums, loose teeth and poor healing.
5. Dents on your teeth
A lack of vitamin D can cause enamel hypoplasia, where teeth have less than the normal amount of enamel. This results in small dents or grooves on the outer surface of the affected tooth, and may turn it brown or yellow in colour.
What can I eat to boost my vitamin intake?
In many cases, the body requires vitamins in only hundredths of a gramme.
Common sources of vitamin B complex (B1, B3, B6, B9 and B12) include pork, liver, whole enriched grain, milk, poultry, meats, nuts, asparagus and fortified cereals, leafy green veggies, legumes and bananas. Top up on vitamin C by adding fresh fruits and veggies like kale, strawberries, oranges and red peppers, as well as fatty fish like tuna, mackerel, salmon. Add on cheese and egg yolks for a healthy serving of vitamin D.
Make sure to speak to your doctor before taking any complementary vitamin supplements.