Wednesday’s Ask Dr. Walt — Canker Sores and Vitamin B-12

Dear Dr. Walt,

Can vitamin B-12 help prevent or reduce canker sores?

—Sore Mouth in Montana

Dear Cross Cheeks,

Aphthae (also called canker sores) are painful oral lesions that appear as localized, shallow, round to oval ulcers with a grayish base and can be quite painful.

Recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) is the most common cause of mouth ulcers. Factors that may predispose to the development of RAS include a family history of them, local trauma (like biting your cheek), hormonal factors, and emotional stress.

To answer your question, one small study showed that a daily dose of 1,000 mg of sub-lingual vitamin B-12 for six months significantly reduced the duration of outbreaks, the number of ulcers, and the level of pain — and this was regardless of initial vitamin B-12 levels in the blood.

Furthermore, during the last month of treatment a significant number of participants in the treatment group reached the “no aphthous ulcers status.”

The researchers concluded, “Vitamin B-12 treatment, which is simple, inexpensive, and low-risk, seems to be effective for patients suffering from RAS.”

Dr. Walt

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2018. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.
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