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Your tongue can reveal if you’re deficient in vitamin D

Published on:1 October 2021, 18:18pm IST
Vitamin D deficiency can lead to multiple health complications. Unusually, you can also detect it by way of your oral health.
Aayushi Gupta
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tongue posture exercises
Vitamin D is a critical vitamin that is essential for your growth. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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There are so many different types of vitamins out there that play an incredibly crucial role in maintaining our health. Among the many vitamins, vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is considered the most important. That’s because it is essential for the upkeep of our bones and teeth. It also helps to reduce anxiety, and boosts our overall immunity. What’s more, it’s important for weight loss too. 

On the other hand, a deficiency of vitamin D in our bodies can make our bones weak, lead to bone deformities, mental health issues and various other complications. That’s why it’s important to be vigilant and keep an eye out for any signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. 

tongue symptoms of vitamin D deficiency
The sunshine vitamin is so important! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Although vitamin D deficiency shows various symptoms and mostly occurs in patients with obesity and diabetes, a recent study found that vitamin D deficiency can also be detected by oral health.

Here’s what the study has to say

According to a study carried out by the Department of Dermatology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester (USA) in 2017, it was found that in patients with symptoms of burning mouth syndrome (BMS), a disorder characterised by chronic mouth pain in the absence of objective clinical abnormalities, it is reasonable to screen for fasting blood glucose, vitamin D (D2 and D3), vitamin B6, zinc, vitamin B1, and thyrotropin (TSH). Deficiencies of vitamin B12 and folic acid were rare. 

Also, read: Tongue scraping can drastically change your health! Here are 6 reasons why

The thing to keep in mind is that there’s no test that can determine whether you have burning mouth syndrome or not. 

All about the burning mouth syndrome

Burning mouth syndrome is a condition that causes pain and discomfort in your mouth, lips, and tongue. It is a medical term for ongoing (chronic) or recurrent burning in the mouth without an obvious cause. The discomfort may also affect the inside of your cheeks, the roof of your mouth (palate), or widespread areas of your whole mouth. In fact, the burning sensation can be severe. 

tongue symptoms of vitamin D deficiency
When it comes to maintaining sound oral health, it can predict about your health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Here are the signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency to look out for:
  • Burning feeling on the tongue, the roof of the mouth, gums, inside of the chicks, and in the back of the throat
  • Sore throat
  • Dry mouth
  • Numbness or tingling of the tongue
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Change is taste due to the above conditions

If the burning doesn’t go away or gets worse, see your dentist or doctor.  

Also, read: What you need to know about covid tongue, and how coronavirus affects the mouth

Here’s how you can correct the vitamin D deficiency

Just soaking up the sun or having vitamin D supplements isn’t enough. To ensure that your body is absorbing the vitamin correctly, you need to:

  • Include food items such as salmon, fish, yoghurt, low-fat milk mushroom, orange juice, cod liver oil, and fats in your diet. You could also enhance your bone strength by adding calcium-rich foods such as leafy vegetables and dairy products. 
tongue symptoms of vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D rich food is all you need for better heart health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
  • You need to refrain yourself from activities such as smoking and drinking in order to keep the effective metabolization (the process of creating energy in our body) of vitamin D. 
  • Also focus on the other nutrients such as vitamin K, magnesium, and zinc in your diet, because these nutrients can speed up the absorption of vitamin D. 
  • If you are on a strict diet and have been avoiding healthy fats, vitamin D will never be able to penetrate deep in the body. According to  Amreen Shaikh, head dietician and nutritionist at Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai, ghee or oil taken in moderation will never harm you. And because vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient, it needs healthy fat for better absorption.
  • You can also include fortified cereals and milk in your diet. 
  • Last but not the least, stay stress-free because when your body releases stress hormones, it can affect your gut. The fact is that vitamin D is absorbed in the intestine and hence your gut health plays an important role in its absorption.  

Aayushi Gupta Aayushi Gupta

Candid, outspoken, but prudent--Aayushi is exploring her place in media world.