Iron and B vitamin deficiency

Iron and B vitamin deficiency are two common nutritional deficiencies in the general population.

These deficiencies can have serious health consequences, including oral health. In this article, we explore the effects of iron and B vitamin deficiency on oral cavity health and ways to prevent and treat them.

Iron deficiency and oral cavity health

Iron deficiency is a common nutritional deficiency, especially among women and children. This deficiency can lead to dental and gum problems and the development of bacterial infections in the oral cavity. Iron deficiency can lead to decreased saliva production, which can increase the risk of tooth decay and oral infections. Decreased saliva production can also lead to dry mouth, which can cause discomfort, difficulty chewing and swallowing, and unpleasant breathing.

B vitamin deficiency and oral cavity health Deficiency of B vitamins, especially vitamin B12 and B6, can lead to dental and gum problems. Vitamin B12 is essential for the development of red blood cells and for maintaining a healthy nervous system.

Deficiency of this vitamin can lead to painful sores on the tongue and bleeding gums.

Vitamin B6 deficiency can also lead to bleeding gums and an increased risk of tooth decay.

Prevention and treatment of iron and vitamin B deficiency

Preventing iron and vitamin B deficiency can be achieved by following a balanced diet rich in foods containing these nutrients. Iron-rich foods include red meat, chicken, fish, eggs, green leafy vegetables and pulses. B vitamins can be found in whole grains, meat, eggs, dairy, legumes and seafood. To increase iron absorption, it is recommended to eat foods rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, kiwi fruit, bell peppers, broccoli and strawberries.

Dietary supplements can also be used to combat these deficiencies, but these should be taken under medical supervision.

If a deficiency of iron or B vitamins occurs, it is important to start treatment as soon as possible.

Iron and B vitamin deficiency manifested in the oral cavity

The whole-body functions normally if it is provided with a sufficient intake of vitamins from all classes. Cells cannot express their character if they are deprived of nutrients.

Vitamins are naturally occurring organic substances that sustain the life of the body. The main source of vitamins is a healthy diet, as advised by nutritionists.

No food other than breast milk contains all the vitamins and trace elements a body needs to develop harmoniously. That is why every patient should follow a diet that contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals the body needs.

The lack of a single vitamin can seriously disrupt the body’s activity and can even lead to severe general illnesses.

It is not only a diet low in nutrients that can disturb the body’s balance.

It is also the body’s inability to convert, absorb or use vitamins that results in the same effects. Some physiological conditions such as hormonal changes specific to growth or pregnancy can disturb the balance of nutrients in the body.

B-complex vitamin deficiency

Although each vitamin in this complex has its own unique and predetermined role in the body, it is interesting that they are extracted from the same foods.

Deficiency in B vitamin intake can have one of the following causes:

  • Inadequate nutrition – the B vitamin complex is found in cereals, brewer’s yeast, milk, cheese, egg yolk, most fruits and vegetables.

  • Alcoholism – the dehydration and nutrient deprivation that accompany alcoholism cause severe health changes

  • Anorexia – is a condition with neurological origins. Refusal to eat leads to extreme weight loss and loss of various nutrients. Early intervention is needed as the most severe complication of this condition is death.

Deficiency of vitamin absorption is associated with gastrointestinal pathologies and increased B-complex requirements are found in hyperparathyroidism.

As oral manifestations of B complex deficiency, we have:

  • Cheilitis – represents cracking of the integuments and mucous membranes, predominantly in the oral commissures.

  • Glossitis – is inflammation of the tongue, accompanied by generalized redness and burning and pain.

  • Dermatitis and keratitis of the tegument

  • Death in severe cases

Iron deficiency anemia

Caused by a deficiency of iron, a naturally occurring trace element, which may be due to deficient intake through inadequate diet, incomplete absorption from gastrointestinal disorders or increased requirements during growth or repeated pregnancies.

Also, increased blood loss during menstruation or associated with gastrointestinal disorders results in significant iron losses. Women are more commonly affected.

Manifestations of iron deficiency are as follows:

Brittle, spoon-shaped nails

Reddening of the tongue, associated with atrophy of the papillae. This sign is disturbing for the patient because it is frequently accompanied by pain and burning sensation.

Laboratory tests may provide information about low levels of iron in the body. The blood cells, haematids, will appear smaller in size and less intensely colored, paler.

Clinically, the patient with iron deficiency anemia has pale complexions and is tired, with low muscle tone.


Treatment of iron deficiency can be achieved by taking dietary supplements or by eating iron-rich foods.

In more severe cases, intravenous iron administration may be necessary. Treatment of B-vitamin deficiency can be achieved by taking dietary supplements or by eating foods rich in B-vitamins.

If the deficiency is severe, it may be necessary to administer B vitamins by intramuscular or intravenous injection.

Treatment of this condition is by ensuring the body’s optimal iron intake, either through dietary adjustment or medication.


Iron and B vitamin deficiency are two common nutritional deficiencies and can have serious consequences for oral cavity health. To prevent these deficiencies, it is important to follow a balanced diet and eat foods rich in these nutrients. If a deficiency occurs, it is important to take steps to treat it as soon as possible.

By following these measures, we can maintain the health of the oral cavity and therefore the overall health of the whole body.

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