If you don't get your recommended daily allowances for vitamins and minerals, you may end up with nutritional deficiencies. While certain deficiencies can result in weakness, pallor, hair loss, brittle nails, and skin problems, others can cause problems with your oral health. Here are some telltale oral signs of nutritional deficiencies that your dentist may recognize while performing your routine examination.
Excessive Gingival Bleeding
If you are deficient in vitamin C or iron, you may develop inflamed gums that bleed heavily. While many people experience mild bleeding during dental examinations and other dental procedures, it usually stops when mild pressure is applied over the affected areas. If your bleeding is heavy or if fails to slow despite your dentist's interventions, you may have a severe nutritional deficiency.
While you should make an appointment with your physician to determine if you have a nutritional deficiency, there are a few things you can do while waiting for your appointment. For example, if you have a mild vitamin C deficiency, you may notice a significant improvement in the condition of your gums by increasing your intake of vitamin C-rich foods such as citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables.
If, however, your physician determines that you have a severe deficiency, he or she may recommend that you take vitamin C supplements for a month or so. Low iron stores can also cause bleeding gums. Increasing your intake of lean red meat, spinach, tofu, and quinoa will help raise your iron levels and may help reverse iron-deficient anemia.
If your dentist notices problems with your teeth such as brittleness, issues with your roots, or significant decay, he or she may suspect that you have a calcium deficiency. Your dentist may also discover that you have loose teeth, and your teeth may hurt during your dental exam if you are severely deficient in calcium.
Increasing your dietary intake of calcium-rich foods such as milk, cheese, yogurt, sardines, kale, and orange juice may help improve the condition of your teeth; however, you may need to take calcium supplements. If you are diagnosed with a calcium deficiency, your dentist may recommend more frequent visits so that your dental status can be closely monitored.
If you believe you may have nutritional deficiencies, see both your physician and dentist regularly. When both of these healthcare providers are involved in your treatment, you are less likely to develop systemic and dental complications associated with dietary deficiencies.