Can a Vitamin Deficiency Cause Gum Recession? Which Vitamins Help?

gum recession vitamin deficiency

Do you have gum recession? Are you wondering if a vitamin deficiency has caused your gums to recede? Do you want to know which vitamins will help cure or prevent gum recession? We take a closer look at these questions below. 

No one vitamin has been identified as causing gum recession however, it is known that all cells in the body, including those in the mouth and the immune system, require small amounts of vitamins to function correctly and stay healthy.

A nutritional deficiency of one or more vitamins can lead to changes in gums, the immune system and structures which support and give structure to the gums. These changes can make gum recession and diseases which lead to receding gums more likely to happen. 

The gums and structures which support them need to be healthy and strong to prevent gum recession from occurring. 

Eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins may help to keep the gums, bone, ligaments and immune system strong and healthy and help prevent gum recession. 

What Causes The Gums To Recede

Gum recession which affects around 88% of seniors (age 65 and over) and 50% of adults (18 to 64) (1) has many causes including

  • Loss of underlying structures – The alveolar bone, periodontal ligaments and soft tissues support and give structure and support to the gums.  The gums sit on top of these structures.  As the height of these structures decreases so does the height of the gums. This is commonly seen in periodontal disease but osteoporosis can also lead to bone loss in the jaw. 
  • Chronic inflammation – periodontal disease results in chronic inflammation which leads to the destruction of supporting structures
  • Bacterial invasion – bacteria irritate and cause inflammation of the gums, when not treated this progresses to advanced periodontal disease and gum recession
  • Mechanical erosion of delicate gum tissue can be caused by aggressive tooth brushing or oral piercings. 

To prevent gum recession you need to ensure that the gums, supporting structures including alveolar bone and periodontal ligaments as well as the immune system are strong and healthy. Eating a balanced, vitamin-rich diet could help

Vitamins that Keep Your Gums Healthy

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is great for your mouth, especially saliva production. Saliva helps wash bacteria from in between your teeth. An accumulation of bacteria is known to irritate the gums and initiate periodontal disease. Ensuring you have sufficient vitamin A in your diet could be essential in the fight against gum recession. 

Vitamin A also plays a role in maintaining the integrity of epithelial cells, which are found in the gum tissue. These cells protect our gums by forming a mechanical barrier against bacteria and mechanical damage. They also secrete inflammatory mediators 

Vitamin A can be found in orange-coloured fruits and vegetables, like carrots, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, egg yolks and fish. It’s also available as a supplement.

Vitamin B

It’s well known that B vitamins are essential for wound healing. There are many types of vitamin B

  • Thiamin (Vitamin B1)
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3)
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Vitamin B6
  • Biotin (Vitamin B7)
  • Folate And Folic Acid
  • Vitamin B12

Having a deficiency in Vitamin B12 can increase your risk of periodontitis. It’s not known how B12 deficiency increases the risk, however, having a lack of vitamin B12 in your diet could contribute to gum disease. 

Folate has been associated with several diseases such as cardiovascular health. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey demonstrated that a low serum folate level is associated with periodontal disease in older adults (2). Having insufficient folate in your diet could contribute to periodontal disease and subsequent gum recession. 

One study has found that a deficiency of Vit B3 is associated with periodontitis. 

B vitamins are also essential for wound healing, collagen production and a healthy immune system. Ensuring you have adequate amounts in your diet could help prevent gum recession.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C plays an essential role in bone formation, wound healing and maintaining healthy gums (3). A deficiency of this vitamin is often associated with anemia, infections, bleeding gums and poor wound healing. 

This vitamin is essential for the development and maintenance of connective tissues. Connective tissues in the gums help hold the teeth in place. They work to protect against periodontitis and once they are compromised, they cannot be regenerated. If you have a vitamin C deficiency it could lead to gum disease and gum recession. 

Vitamin C is readily available in citrus fruits, broccoli, sweet potatoes, berries, bell peppers and Kale. 

Vitamin D

A study in Australia found a direct link between vitamin D deficiency and inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s way of protecting the tissues when injured or infected (4). Chronic inflammation of the gums results in the inflammation and destruction of bone and ligaments and subsequently gum recession. Boosting vitamin D in people with deficiencies may reduce chronic inflammation and thus bone loss and gum recession.  

Vitamin D plays an important role in bone mineralisation and according to a Comprehensive Review in 2020, vitamin D deficiencies can lead to gingival inflammation and gum disease. And thus gum recession. 

The sunshine vitamin is found in oily fish like salmon, mackerel and herring. Supplements are also recommended for those that live in climates where sunshine is limited during the winter months, spend most of their time indoors or keep their skin covered throughout the year. 

Vitamin K

Vitamin K can help with both bone growth and bone density. A deficiency in the vitamin could result in bone loss and gum recession.

Broccoli and Brussels sprouts are high in vitamin K. Add them to your salad or sub your side of fries for one of these veggies at dinner. 

Do I Need Vitamin Supplements?

Most people don’t need to take a supplement as you can get all the essential vitamins and minerals by eating a healthy, balanced diet. 

Whilst vitamins are needed in small amounts to keep your gums, alveolar bones and immune system healthy you probably don’t need to take a supplement. You can get all the essential vitamins you need by eating a healthy balanced diet. 

How Do I Prevent Gum Recession?

You can prevent gum recession by eating a healthy, vitamin-packed diet that promotes a healthy strong immune system, gums, and bones.  

One of the most important things you can do to prevent gum recession from occurring is to effectively disrupt plaque bacteria twice a day without damaging the delicate gum tissue.

Knowledge is power where beating gum disease is concerned. Gum Disease: Solved online education tool arms you with the information to understand why you have gum disease and how you can beat it in only 10 minutes per day at home, without the need for costly and ineffective dental visits.

Beat Gum Disease Now

Sources In Can a Vitamin Deficiency Cause Gum Recession?

  1. Pradeep, K., Rajababu, P., Satyanarayana, D., & Sagar, V. (2012). Gingival Recession: Review and Strategies in Treatment of Recession. Case Reports in Dentistry, 2012.
  2. Yu YH, Kuo HK, Lai YL. The association between serum folate levels and periodontal disease in older adults: data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001/02. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2007 Jan;55(1):108-13. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2006.01020.x. PMID: 17233693. Available here:
  3. Chambial, S., Dwivedi, S., Shukla, K. K., John, P. J., & Sharma, P. (2013). Vitamin C in Disease Prevention and Cure: An Overview. Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry, 28(4), 314-328.
  4. Ang Zhou, Elina Hyppönen, Vitamin D deficiency and C-reactive protein: a bidirectional Mendelian randomization study, International Journal of Epidemiology, 2022;, dyac087,
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Written by Gareth Edwards

Co-Founder & GDG Dentist

Dr. Gareth Edwards BDS (Hons) MFDS (RCPS Glasgow) is GDG Co-Founder and Gum Disease Expert.

He is a practicing dentist based in Bournemouth, UK and has treated thousands of patients with gum-related diseases.

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