Oral manifestations of avitaminosis

11 Dec, 2016 - 00:12 0 Views

The Sunday News


THIS week’s article is about the oral manifestations of a group of diseases caused by lack of vitamins due to malnourishment.

Avitaminosis: A group of diseases caused by the deficiency of one or more vitamins. Below are a few examples of the vitamin deficiency and the diseases they cause:

— rickets (Vitamin D deficiency)

— pernicious anemia (Vitamin B12 ,Cobalamine deficiency)

— bleeding disorder (vitamin K deficiency)

— night blindness (Vitamin A)

— scurvy (Vitamin C, Ascorbic acid)

Symptoms depend on the type and degree of avitaminosis. In today’s article I will mention only the main systemic and oral manifestations of a few of the above diseases as well as the natural dietary sources of each vitamin.

According to Unicef, in January 2016, an alarming 37 percent of Zimbabwean households were hungry and malnourished.


General Manifestations include:

— Bone tenderness

— Muscle weakness

Increased tendency for bone fractures (easily broken bones)

Skeletal deformity

Toddlers: Bowed legs and double malleoli

Older children: Knock-knees or “windswept knees”

— Cranial deformity

— Pelvic deformity

— Spinal deformity

— Growth disturbance

Oral manifestations include:

— discoloured teeth with thin or at times no enamel (outter layer)

— gum disease

— very britlte jaw bones that fracture easily


General Manifestations include:

— Easy bruising

— Slow wound healing

— Dry and splitting hair

— Dry red spots on the skin

— Rough, dry, scaly skin

— Nosebleeds

— Weakened immune system

— Digestive disorders

— Possible weight gain because of slowed metabolism

— Swollen and painful joints

Oral manifestations include:

— swollen gums

— mouth ulcers

— gum disease

— bleeding gums

Vitamin A Deficiency

General manifestations are:

— night blindness

— dry eyes

Oral manifestations

— dry mouth

— increased risk of lip cancer

— decreased taste sensitivity

— increased caries (cavities)

— gum disease

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” — Hippocrates

Kimberley Eve Nyathi

Final year BDS student

Lviv National Medical University

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