Vitamin B12 deficiency: Three symptoms in and around your mouth – warning signs

As tissues and organs don’t receive the adequate supply of oxygen they need, a long-term vitamin B12 deficiency can be disastrous for your health – even leading to infertility, heart conditions and issues with the nervous system. The earlier a vitamin B12 deficiency is diagnosed and addressed, the more likely you won’t suffer from long-term effects. Lacking vitamin B12 could lead to symptoms in and around the mouth, the NHS confirmed.

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If the mouth ulcer lingers for more than three weeks, or it grows bigger in size, do book an appointment with your doctor or dentist.

It’s also important to seek medical or dental advice if the mouth ulcer bleeds, or becomes more painful and red.

What do mouth ulcers look like?

Mouth ulcers are circular white patches that you can find inside the mouth, cheek, lips or tongue.

“Mouth ulcers are not contagious and should not be confused with cold sores,” the NHS added.

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Another possible sign of a vitamin B12 infection can include a pale, yellow tinge to your skin around your mouth – i.e. jaundice.

The Cleveland Clinic explained that jaundice “is a condition in which the skin, whites of the eyes and mucous membranes turn yellow”.

This is due to a high level of bilirubin – a yellow-orange bile pigment – that is formed from the breakdown of red blood cells.

Three symptoms of a vitamin B12 in and around the mouth:

  • Glossitis
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Jaundice.
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When you have deformed red blood cells, because of a vitamin B12 deficiency, it can also lead to other symptoms.

Full list:

  • A pale yellow tinge to your skin
  • A sore and red tongue (glossitis)
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Pins and needles (paraesthesia)
  • Changes in the way that you walk and move around
  • Disturbed vision
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Changes in the way you think, feel and behave
  • A decline in your mental abilities, such as memory, understanding and judgement (dementia).

The lack of healthy red blood cells also leads to anaemia, which can cause additional symptoms, such as:

  • Extreme tiredness (fatigue)
  • Lack of energy (lethargy)
  • Breathlessness
  • Feeling faint
  • Headaches
  • Pale skin
  • Noticeable heartbeats (palpitations)
  • Hearing sounds coming from inside the body, rather than from an outside source (tinnitus)
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss.

You can buy vitamin B12 supplements on Amazon here. 


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