A deficiency in some vitamins and minerals can provide signs in the mouth that something is off.

Vitamin C deficiency, also called scurvy, is a rare disease nowadays but is worth mentioning as most people have heard of it. It occurs when a lack of vitamin C is consumed over a prolonged period of time. The signs of scurvy can be severe gum bleeding, overgrowth of gum tissue and tooth mobility/loss.

B vitamins and folic acid are important for our oral health, specifically B12, B6, B3 and B2. A deficiency in these may show symptoms on the tongue such as glossiness, redness, burning and soreness. The corners of the mouth/lips may be affected with cracks/fissures that do not heal regardless of use of lubrication. Ulcers may appear in the mouth and burning of the oral cavity may occur.

Vitamin A deficiency may make the mouth more dry (xerostomia) and white tissue may appear on the soft tissue in the mouth

A deficiency in zinc may present with lip scaling and crusting, oral sores and a rash around the mouth.

A varied diet can help prevent vitamin and mineral deficiencies. If you suspect you have a deficiency or notice signs noted above visit your dentist or physician for a check-up.