We often think of brushing and flossing as the extent of proper oral hygiene. The health of the mouth is more than just cavity-free teeth and healthy gums. Many people endure other troublesome outbreaks in the mouth like Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis (RAS), better known as “canker sores”. Scientists have discovered very little in the way of cures or preventative medicine for canker sores – until now.

Canker sores can be very painful and unattractive. Common outbreak locations are on the inside of the lips, inside of the cheeks, on the gums, and even sometimes on the tongue. Some factors that doctors believe may contribute to these outbreaks are stress, poor nutrition, food allergies, or the accidental biting of one’s tongue. Doctors have traditionally prescribed antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications, but it is widely believed that such treatments do not actually help.

However, studies have yielded promising results in the management and treatment of canker sores. Extensive testing has been done with Vitamin B12, which proves to be the most effective treatment thus far. Over a six-month period, test groups suffering from RAS were either given 1000 mcg doses of Vitamin B12 or a placebo. An overwhelming majority (74%) of Vitamin B12 takers gained a remission of their outbreaks. Only 34% of the non-B12 takers recovered in the same way.

Given the decrease in pain levels, outbreak persistence, and even the amount of oral ulcers, Vitamin B12 is a successful treatment. Anyone dealing with these difficult outbreaks should seriously consider Vitamin B12. It’s a viable weapon in fighting canker sore outbreaks.

Vitamin B12 is the most successful treatment to date, but a definitive cure has not been discovered yet. People should still manage those controllable factors like stress and poor nutrition. Various sources even suggest some home remedies like rinsing the mouth with warm salt water or aloe juice.