Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Lost a tooth

My story is on the old PAS web site.

I've basically been doing fine for the past 5 or 6 years. I handled the transition from UK (Hydroxo-B12) injections every month to the USA (Cyano-B12) every week. I take Folic Acid, B6, Biotin, TMG and a daily multi-vitamin.

A week ago a noticed a crown on an upper tooth, that has ben problematic for years, was loose. I booked an appointment with the dentist to "glue it back on again". However, during the week, my tongue would not leave that tooth alone. The smell and taste from the tooth was foul. I bought Listerine to keep it all clean. I gave up all sugar in my coffee to stop feeding the bacteria. I finally resorted to keeping a toothpick across that tooth and biting on it to hold the tooth in place. The tongue went after the toothpick and everything calmed down.

I googled something like "lost a tooth due to vitamin deficiency" and it came back with a Vit D3 issue. Since I became photosensitive after starting on B12 injections, I do not get Vit D from sunlight any more. I probably should have taken other PAS member's advice and started on Vit D3 a long time ago. I figured that the daily multi-vitamin was giving me the Vit D3.

A couple of months ago, I noticed that the gum around that tooth would get inflamed on Saturday before my B12 injection was due on Sunday. The tongue also developed a red patch the size of half a penny along the place where it touched that tooth. After the B12 injection everything seemed to clear up so I was focused on B12D as being the cause for both.

I also had, what looking back at it, was probably an abscess, where the outside gum on that tooth developed a pouch of blood which popped while brushing my teeth.

Last night the dentist found the tooth broken in half horizontally . The lower portion holding the crown was still attached to the inside gum and hence the wobble. The outer gum was completely detached and had been allowing food to go up along the root. Because it was a crown on a tooth with a root canal, the root was already dead but now it was just rotting away. The upper portion of the root was infected and the gum around it was inflamed. The whole thing was extracted and he found it was also up into my sinus.

Today I'm sitting here with a headache, the gap in my mouth is packed with gauze, I'm eating a soft diet, with instructions not to sneeze or blow my nose too hard, and feeling sorry for myself. I know full well that I should have stopped the sugar and started the Listerine and Vit D3 a long time ago. Please, not too many I told you so....

I think that my body had been fighting the infection in the tooth for quite a while and using up B12 all along the way. Hopefully over the next month the gum will heal up and then we'll look at what the next step is.

Anybody else with PA or a B12D had gum disease or lost a tooth?

13 Replies

Really sorry to hear about the lost tooth - its a definite shock to the system. I've lost 3 so far - no signs of vit D deficiency but did have a lot of problems with gum disease and infections around the teeth which, looking back was probably B12 - particularly as it seems to have stopped now.

Always had quite rotten teeth - as does my brother - I had my first extraction when I was 2 ... but didn't lose the other teeth until my late 40s - though have had crowns and veneers and some teeth are more filling than tooth. My brother always blamed the problems with teeth on mum giving us lots of sugar filled drinks when we were small but as we both seem to suffer from B12 problems (his not diagnosed formally) ... and I think my father did as well and his teeth weren't that brilliant, perhaps it was B12.

I lost my last tooth as a result of a bang on worktop when I was recovering from a broken ankle - which is when the B12 deficiency was identified due to a blood test - think my MMA was high so they were looking for a reason for that.

I'm now used to wearing a denture (second tooth lost was one of my front teeth) but it did make me feel really old when I started so understand your pain.


I'm thinking I'll need a bridge as it is the bicuspid right behind the left canine. This is where I chew. I'll find out more after it heals up and the dentist reassesses it.


I also have terrible teeth, plagued by abscesses even when I had my baby teeth. I thought it had cleared up with the b12, folic acid and iron but had another infection last month. Luckily it drained to a sinus and tooth seems normal again so dentist isn't going to touch it, she seemed puzzled by it actually. I got an infected one pulled from beside it for braces last year though....

My brother has good teeth, same diet as children but I was always getting the old, stop eating sugar lecture!

I got my iron rechecked actually, so maybe that might be low.

But, yes, I sympathise because tooth trouble is one of the worst things :( I hope you start feeling a bit better now the infection is out!


I've have what is capped tooth (yes nerve dead, all done over 30 years ago) which has a dormant abscess, it used to flare up regularly, had the gum opened at the top and top of the root removed to allow the abscess to drain. It used to flare up particularly after flying (change of pressure), its not flared up for some 10 years now, so that seems to coincide with me starting to add extra B12, so perhaps that did help, I do not know. Expect addressing any vit def, anaemia, will help with healthy gum and teeth.


Thanks. I think the crown on my tooth was done 20 years ago in the UK


Thanks for your wishes. Here in the USA I think the default mode for an abscess is to extract. Interesting to hear that your dentist left it alone.


My dentist is a friend, she is lovely! Its a front tooth so would really show if it was removed, I am very happy with how my dentist looks after my teeth, they have never been so good as they are now.


Thanks. I've actually been a bit feverish. My dentist said that I might react to the infection. I've slept till noon two days in a row and after taking the pain meds, I sweat as the fever breaks. I also get lethargic from the pain meds.

I'm pretty useless at the moment. We'll see how tomorrow goes.


Sounds like you need antibiotics..sounds like its infected...hope you will go back to your dentist, hope it gets sorted for you , I'm not surprised you feel horrid, wishing you well, Marre.


I've had toothy tales of woe. :( Something I learned years ago from an oral medicine specialist is that anyone with a family history of autoimmune disease may be unable to absorb the trace element molybdenum properly from their diet. This can lead to a greater tendency to caries because the enamel will be weaker than it should be.


How awful for you! Hope you get better soon. Interestingly and probably coincidentally I had a root canal (Horrible procedure) just before discovering I was B12 deficient.


Well, its been three months since I lost the tooth. The socket has completely healed. The issues of red patches on the tongue are gone.

I've been doing pretty good.


Of course as soon as I wrote that last posting, I got a red patch about the size of a 5p or dime on the tip of my tongue.

I think a bit of stress last week ran my B12 levels down. It has stopped hurting now and is starting to fill back in. I upped by folic acid from 2.4 to 3.2 mg also.

I had my injection on Wednesday evening and yesterday (Thursday) I had four back to back meetings and I was completely wiped out at the end of the day.

Today I was still tired and took B12 sublinguals after lunch. Then at the end of the day I had an unexplained bout on the toilet. This was 24 hours after all the stress the day before and I think it was linked to it.

After work today I also took a 30 minute cat nap to recover so this evening I'm feeling more normal.

My routine has become very important to maintaining balance. Anything out of the ordinary and my gut complains.


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