Teeth discoloration and vitamin deficiency: what’s the correlation?

Not often we think about the correlation between teeth discoloration and vitamin deficiency. Many people complain of teeth discoloration and it is one of the biggest fears of many others. Our daily routines, oral hygiene, what we eat and drink, smoking… All of these can have an impact on teeth. We usually think that external staining substances cause this. However, sometimes the problem can be inside of us. 

A diet you should follow for healthy teeth cannot be implemented by simply avoiding certain foods. One of the most important things for this is a balanced diet. Your teeth consist of different layersVitamins and minerals are very effective in the formation of these layers. If you are deprived of these, your dental health can be seriously compromised. However, it is still important to know what we need and why we need them. So let’s look at the relationship between vitamin deficiencies and tooth discoloration and the solutions to this problem.

Teeth discoloration and vitamin deficiency: which deficiencies cause teeth discoloration

Without any doubt there’s a correlation between teeth discoloration and vitamin deficiency. Many vitamins can directly or indirectly affect this condition. These are all essential vitamins you need to maintain a healthy and beautiful smile. Of course, they are important not only for your smile but also for your entire body. Vitamins, like minerals, are very important in the formation and development of your bones. They are also very effective in the formation of your teeth. For example, calcium, which is the basic building block of thyme and tooth enamel, is used by our body together with vitamin D. Adequate intake of vitamin D and calcium strengthens your teeth and jawbones. This allows your teeth to hold on to their places more firmly. We can list these main vitamins as follows:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D

So let’s take a look at them one by one:

Vitamin A Deficiency

It is a fat-soluble vitamin that is stored in the liver. Vitamin A is one of the most essential elements for your gums. Healthy gums not only support your teeth but also do not host bacteria that can spread and damage your teeth. At the same time, vitamin A is one of the essential nutrients for enamel, the white outer layer of your teeth. Vitamin A is very important for your immune system. A weak immune system can leave your oral health and teeth vulnerable. This can make your teeth more helpless to decay. It can also cause problems such as Gum disease. These will also create an undesirable appearance.

However, the effects on the teeth are not only that. Vitamin A deficiency also affects the proper functioning of your salivary glands. Saliva is a secretion that aids in digestion. It is also one of your mouth’s natural defense mechanisms. It keeps your mouth wet and removes plaque and bacteria.

Without these, bacteria can multiply rapidly and plaque formation progresses. At the same time, sticky pieces of food do not dissolve and can remain on your teeth for a long time. All these will lead to teeth discoloration and dental caries.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin. It is an effective vitamin for brain and nervous system functions and red blood cell production. Just like vitamin A, vitamin B12 is also one of the fundamental nutrients of gum and teeth. So Vitamin B12 intake is vital for your dental health. B12 is also important in digesting sugars. With adequate B12 intake, sugars are better digested and less likely to stain your teeth. 

B12 deficiency can cause gum disease, also known as periodontitis. Because B12 has vital importance as a nutrient for gums. Also as we already said before, it helps the digestion process of sugar. Sugar is the main nutrient of the bacteria in our mouths. So undigested sugar in the mouth can be harmful both for your gums and teeth. This kind of sugar can easily cause discolored teeth by feeding harmful bacteria. If gum disease progresses, receding gum may occur. Receding gums will also expose your tooth roots. Unprotected tooth roots can easily be attacked by bacteria, creating an unpleasant appearance.

Vitamin C Deficiency

Vitamin C is the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to the immune system. it is also necessary for the formation of certain tissues in blood vessels, muscles, and bones. Vitamin C deficiency can cause scurvy. At the same time, it will negatively affect your body’s defense mechanism. Vitamin C is also an important vitamin for gums and teeth. It is also important for your body’s self-defense mechanism.

That way, your mouth can better fight bacteria. Which means whiter and healthier teeth.This will leave your teeth in the hands of bacteria and plaque. because your saliva not only helps to digest it but also has a protective effect against bacteria. Your defense cells that fight bacteria roam in the capillaries of your gums. If these are weak, bacteria can settle in your mouth more easily. And that means goodbye to white and healthy teeth. Although some claim that vitamin C intake is directly effective in teeth whitening, this is a controversial issue.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency is the most directly related deficiency to teeth discoloration. Vitamin D has an important role in structuring your teeth with minerals. Calcium is the building block of the tooth enamel and also bones. With adequate vitamin D and calcium intake, you can maintain your white smile by keeping your enamel strong. Vitamin D is a vitamin taken with the help of the sun.

It is very important for your bones and teeth. Because it allows calcium to be absorbed. Calcium is the building block of your bones.

The layer of enamel, which is also the outer part of your teeth, also consists of calcium. This layer is the layer that gives your teeth a white color. The weakening or wear of your enamel makes the underlying dentin layer visible. This layer is darker in color. In other words, the wear of your enamel is one of the biggest causes of teeth discolorationAlso, there are some studies showing that the risk of tooth decay is also reduced in this way.

How To Cure Vitamin Deficiencies

Today, it is quite easy to eliminate vitamin deficiency naturally. The food groups required for this are available in many parts of the world. In other words, a healthy diet that you will follow by knowing which foods contain what will meet your vitamin needs. For this, you can do your own research or consult a dietitian. So let’s take a look at where we can get these vitamins:

Foods packed with Vitamin A

You can supplement vitamin A with foods such as tomatoes, carrots, green and red peppers, spinach, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, fish oil, liver, milk, cheese, and eggs

Foods packed with Vitamin B12

B12 sources are large in animal origin. we can count them as follows: liver, red meat, fish (especially mackerel), dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt, kefir, and other animal-sourced foods like egg yolk, shellfish, and offal

Foods packed with Vitamin C

The condition of getting vitamin C is to be fed from the soil. Many fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C. We can count them as follows: oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, kiwi, pineapple, strawberries, red and green peppers, tomatoes, arugula, parsley, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, and fresh rosehips … these are very rich in vitamin C.

Foods packed with Vitamin D

Things get a little more complicated when it comes to vitamin D. Because it is not enough to get vitamin D from food. You also need sunlight to activate the vitamin D that enters your body. Foods where you can get vitamin D as a provitamin are as follows: Cereals, mushrooms, milk, eggs, fish (especially tuna), cheese, butter, yogurt, and kefir. However, as we said, you should not forget to sunbathe after taking these nutrients.

How can I meet my vitamin needs if my diet is insufficient?

Sometimes, no matter how careful we are, our diet fails to meet these deficiencies. This may indicate some other problems in our bodies. Sometimes we may not be able to follow the required diet. The best example of this situation can be found in pirate movies. You can see them as people with rotten and stained ugly teeth. The main reason for this is not the lack of toothbrushes.

These people, who have been fed only by the sea for months or years, cannot get the nutrients they need from the soil. That’s why their teeth become stained, rotten, and even scurvy. But you don’t need to be afraid. Even sailors today have access to essential food groups Thanks to modern technologies, it is possible to take these vitamins also as supplements. There are many pills, tablets, and similar products for this. For example, if you are vegan and suffer from b12 deficiency, you can easily find vegan b12 supplements for this.

In such cases, it is important to consult your doctor and do good research to choose adequate supplements. Because the amount of vitamins contained in some supplements may be below your needs, never forget, a balanced diet is also indispensable for a beautiful smile.


Botelho J, Machado V, Proença L, Delgado AS, Mendes JJ. Vitamin D Deficiency and Oral Health: A Comprehensive Review. Nutrients. 2020;12(5):1471. Published 2020 May 19. doi:10.3390/nu12051471 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7285165/