Iron-deficiency anemia is one of the most common types of anemia, and it affects more than 1 billion people worldwide. This type of anemia is caused when the body doesn't have enough iron to produce hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the part of red blood cells that transports oxygen throughout the body; without it, your body can't make enough healthy new blood cells to carry oxygen. If left untreated, it could lead to serious problems such as abnormal heartbeat, fatigue, pale skin, shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches, and cold hands or feet. It can also cause problems like brittle nails, dark-colored urine, stomach pain, and even personality changes. Babies may suffer from it at higher rates than adults.
Treating this type of anemia requires more than just getting more iron in your diet. Your doctor can prescribe an iron supplement based on the severity of the condition, as well as vitamin C to help with absorption. In some cases, a blood transfusion is needed. In severe cases, treating the underlying cause of the anemia is necessary, which can include removing an intestinal parasite, regularizing your diet, or taking medications for medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and cancer.
Symptoms of anemia include fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath. Patients who have anemia often describe feeling cold all the time. They may also experience headaches or dizziness. Patients may also complain of chest pains when exercising. Patients with anemia may find it difficult to concentrate and perform their daily tasks. In addition, patients with anemia may experience severe abdominal pain or diarrhea. These patients may also have pale skin that bruises easily. All the above symptoms are common indicators of conditions like iron deficiency anemia and pernicious anemia. If left untreated, these conditions can lead to heart problems and other serious medical issues. If you suspect that you may have anemia, it is important to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. If you visit the dentist, your doctor will evaluate your condition, diagnose you with a condition if necessary, and help you determine the best treatment solution.
If your anemia is caused by an iron deficiency, the mineral plays a role in forming your teeth's enamel, dentin, and bone. Without sufficient amounts of iron in your body, you may notice changes to your overall health as well as changes to your smile. For example, you may experience dry mouth or sensitive teeth and gums. You may also notice white spots on your tongue, bleeding in your mucous membranes, or a receding gum line.
If the cause of your anemia is a lack of vitamin B12, you may experience mouth sores and swollen gums. You also might develop cracks in the corners of your mouth, known as angular cheilitis. And if you experience blood loss as a result of a gastrointestinal disorder, such as celiac disease, you may need to visit your dentist more frequently to treat any resulting oral infections.
If you suffer from anemia, the best way to treat the condition is to talk to your doctor about possible treatment options. Your doctor may recommend IV therapy, which involves using a small needle to inject vitamins and minerals directly into your bloodstream. Other treatments your doctor may recommend include increasing your intake of foods high in iron, B12, and other essential vitamins and minerals. It's also possible that medication will be required to improve your condition.
Call Dr. Ronald F. Jacob, DMD, at (386) 445-6111 if you wish to learn more about ways to maintain good oral health. We are located at 17 Old King's Road N, Palm Coast, FL 32137. If you have any questions, give our dental office a call. We're happy to answer them.