What your Gums have to Say about your B12 Level
Are bleeding gums a sign of vitamin B12 deficiency? If your body isn’t getting enough vitamin B12, it will let you know in many ways. You might experience symptoms such as fatigue, nerve pain, and memory loss, in addition to change in the appearance of your hair, skin, nails, and gums. That’s your brain telling you to eat some more foods that have B12, such as lean meat, fish, eggs and cheese.
You also need vitamin B12 in order to produce plenty of red blood cells. People who suffer vitamin B12 deficiency from pernicious anemia are at risk for depletion of red blood cells and severe nerve cell damage.
Bleeding and swollen gums can be a sign of vitamin B12 deficiency anemia. Some clear signs are painful, sore gums that bleed every time you brush or floss. Additionally, you might also have gingivitis, a gum disease. If soreness and redness persists, see a dentist, as well as your doctor for a vitamin B12 blood screening test.
Aplastic anemia occurs when your body stops making enough red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets, causing many different bodily functions to malfunction.
- Low red blood cells mean that your body is not getting hemoglobin, which in turn can cause fatigue, dizziness, headaches and cold hands and feet. Checking your B12 level will determine if vitamin B12 deficiency is causing your anemic condition.
- Low white blood cells signals a low immunity. White blood cells are needed to fight infections, so a deficiency of white blood cells could result in autoimmune disease, fever and frequent flu-like symptoms. (Also read AIDS with B12 Deficiency.)
- Blood platelets are used to stop the bleeding when you get a cut. A low platelet count often causes multiple bruising, pale gums that bleed, nosebleeds and cuts that don’t heal.
Other symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency
In addition to regulating your red blood cell supply and brain functions, vitamin B12 is also essential for monitoring DNA synthesis, restricting homocysteine levels and protecting the nervous system. Deficiencies of vitamin B12 may cause:
- Sleep problems
- Numbness and tingling in hands and feet
- Altered taste perception
- Visual disorders
- Heart palpitations
- Increased risk for stroke
For more info on preventing B12 deficiency, read:
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