How a Vitamin Deficiency Can Affect Your Dental Health

Vitamin deficiencies can cause problems like enamel loss, gum disease, and more, so it’s important to make sure you get all the nutrients you need for good dental health.

How a Vitamin Deficiency Can Affect Your Dental Health

Are you taking a multivitamin every day? Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help you get the essential vitamins and minerals you need for strong, healthy teeth and gums. But no matter how healthy (or unhealthy) your diet is, you might want to start taking some supplements, too.  Vitamin deficiencies can cause problems like enamel loss, gum disease, and more. However, taking a daily multivitamin will help you get the nutrients you need for good dental health.

How a Vitamin Deficiency Can Cause Dental Problems

Vitamin B12

B12 plays an important role in gum health. The lower your B12 levels, the higher your risk of tooth loss from gum disease. Further studies are needed to show exactly how B12 and gum disease are related. However, recent research shows that people with low B12 levels had deeper periodontal pockets and more gum detachment.  

Vitamin B12 deficiencies are most common in people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, because this vitamin is not readily available in plant foods. It does occur in small amounts in foods like nutritional yeast, mushrooms, and algae, and it’s often added to fortified plant milks and cereals. However, taking a daily supplement will ensure that you get the levels of B12 you need to prevent gum disease.

Vitamin C

Bleeding gums are often a sign of gingivitis, but did you know that they can also signal a Vitamin C deficiency? Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that fights inflammatory diseases like periodontitis (gum disease). It helps keep your gums healthy and strong, and it inhibits the growth of cavity-causing bacteria. 

Vitamin C deficiencies are fairly rare, but you want to make sure you’re getting around 100mg per day. Foods rich in Vitamin C include citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit, cruciferous veggies like kale and broccoli, as well as peppers, papayas, kiwis, and strawberries.

Vitamin D

Our bodies synthesize Vitamin D from sunlight, which doesn’t seem like it would be much of a problem in sunny Arizona. But since we live in the Northern Hemisphere, it can still be tricky getting enough Vitamin D in the winter. And during the summer in Arizona, sometimes it’s simply too hot to go outside. Since Vitamin D is not found in very many foods, taking a supplement is a good idea if you don’t spend much time outdoors.

Vitamin D is especially important for babies and children whose permanent teeth are still developing. A deficiency could cause demineralization of the dentin and enamel, leading to a greater incidence of tooth decay. But adults need sufficient amounts of Vitamin D as well, because it’s also important in the prevention of gum disease and oral cancer. 


If you want strong bones and teeth, getting enough calcium in your diet is essential. Calcium deficiency has been directly linked to tooth loss, especially in people with osteoporosis. When your body doesn’t get enough calcium, it will start to use the calcium stored in your bones. This can weaken your jaw and the structures that support your teeth, leading to tooth loss.

Even if you take a multivitamin, it’s important to eat lots of calcium-rich foods. Not only is it easier for your body to absorb and use the calcium in the food you eat, there’s also no possibility of the negative side effects that calcium supplements sometimes cause. Foods rich in calcium include dairy products, almonds, beans, and dark green leafy vegetables.

Holistic Dentistry in Prescott, Arizona

As holistic dentists, we know that good dental health and good physical health go hand in hand. Eating the right foods and getting the essential vitamins and minerals you need will help you keep your teeth—and your body—strong and healthy. If you’re looking for a dentist that focuses on wellness and prevention, contact us today to make an appointment.


Photo by Anna Pelzer on Unsplash used with permission under the Creative Commons license for commercial use 3/12/2024.