Oral manifestations of vitamin B12 deficiency: a case report

J Can Dent Assoc. 2009 Sep;75(7):533-7.


Megaloblastic anemias are a subgroup of macrocytic anemias, in which distinctive morphologic abnormalities occur in red cell precursors in bone marrow, namely megaloblastic erythropoiesis. Of the many causes of megaloblastic anemia, the most common are disorders resulting from cobalamin or folate deficiency. The clinical symptoms are weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath and neurologic abnormalities. The presence of oral signs and symptoms, including glossitis, angular cheilitis, recurrent oral ulcer, oral candidiasis, diffuse erythematous mucositis and pale oral mucosa offer the dentist an opportunity to participate in the diagnosis of this condition. Early diagnosis is important to prevent neurologic signs, which could be irreversible. The aim of this paper is to describe the oral changes in a patient with megaloblastic anemia caused by a dietary deficiency of cobalamin.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anemia, Megaloblastic / complications
  • Anemia, Megaloblastic / diagnosis*
  • Anemia, Megaloblastic / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxocobalamin / therapeutic use
  • Mouth Diseases / diagnosis
  • Mouth Diseases / etiology*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitamin B 12 / therapeutic use
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency / complications
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency / diagnosis*
  • Vitamin B Complex / therapeutic use


  • Vitamin B Complex
  • Vitamin B 12
  • Hydroxocobalamin