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Most Recent eNewsletter:

March 2018
• Does Alcohol Help Rid Your Mouth of Gum Disease?
• Trigeminal Neuralgia
• Folate (Vitamin B9)

Past Newsletters:

February 2018
• Genetics and Gum Disease
• Vitamin B12
• Managing Chronic Facial Pain

January 2018
• For Parents of Young Children
• What Your Teeth Get from You Eating Protein
• How Sleeping with Your Mouth Open Hurts Your Mouth

December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017

Vitamin B12
I decided to start a series on key vitamins and their effect on your oral health and the rest of your body. First up in this series is Vitamin B12 or cobalamin.

Vitamin B12 is key for so many functions of the body, including: red blood cell formation, fat and protein metabolism, making DNA and many neurological functions. Deficiencies of vitamin B12 can cause poor memory, glossodynia or "burning tongue", burning mouth syndrome, loss of ability to taste food, red ulcers on tongue, fatigue, dizziness, and depression. Severe or prolonged deficiency can cause permanent damage including numbness of the hands and feet as well as dementia. Unfortunately, it can take years for a deficiency to show up due to the fact that our bodies can store large amounts of it.

We get B12 from animal sources only - eggs, meat, fish, dairy, etc. - so people with strict vegetarian or vegan diets need to take a daily supplement. There are other conditions that can lead to a vitamin B12 deficiency because the body is unable to convert cobalamin to it's active form. These conditions are:

Celiac Disease
Crohn's Disease
Atrophic Gastritis
Pernicious Anemia
Age (as we get into our "Golden Years", our bodies stop being able to convert cobalamin as they should)

In these individuals it is important that they take the active form or get intramuscular injections. The active form of cobalamin is methyl-cobalamin. Unfortunately, taking massive oral doses of regular cobalamin doesn't necessary make the body convert it more efficiently.

If you have any of these symptoms please get your B12 levels checked by your healthcare provider. It's a simple blood test, and if detected early, it can prevent worse symptoms or even permanent damage. Stay tuned next month because I will be writing to you about Folate. Have a great February!

- Jocelyn RDH

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