Affects of Nutritional Deficiency

Teeth are particularly susceptible to nutritional insult during the critical period of development through age three. Changes in the structural integrity of the teeth provide a history of deficiencies of Vitamins A, C and D, iodine and excess of fluorides during tooth formation. Changes in the oral mucosa signal deficiencies of iron, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, protein and vitamins B12, C and K.

Nutritional Deficient Affects Oral Structure


Deficiency Change
Vitamin A Hypoplasia, defective enamel and dentin
Vitamin C Degeneration of pulpal tissue, irregular, canalized secondary dentin
Vitamin D Imperfections in enamel formation, including hypoplasia, interglobular dentin
Iodine Delayed eruption of primary and secondary teeth, malocclusion
Excess Fluoride Calcification defects, including mottled enamel

Oral Mucosa

Deficiency Change
Iron Mucosal pallor, glossitis, angular stomatitis, aphthae and burning mouth syndrome
Riboflavin Angular cheilosis and glossitis
Niacin Pellagrous stomatitis affecting lips, tongue, mucosal lining of the mouth, and gingiva (which may develop into Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis)
Folic Acid Stomatitis, particularly glossitis with early manifestation of small white ulcers
Vitamin B12 Stomatitis, particularly glossitis in anterior two thirds of tongue.Can be very painful
Vitamin B6 Bilateral angular cheilosis; glossitis with pain, edema, papillary atrophy and purple discolouration
Vitamin C Scurvy. In infants (6 to 8 months), spongy gingiva around erupting and newly erupted teeth. Beyond infancy, scorbutic gingivitis
Vitamin K Bleeding from gingival margins
Protein-Calorie Kwashiorkor pellagra-like oral lesions -- Nutritional marasmus – effects resemble those of iron deficiency anemia