Vitamin B-12 May Help Canker Sores

 Difference between cold sores and canker sores

Cold sores and canker sores are often confused with each other, they are not the same. Cold sores, also called fever blisters or herpes simplex type 1, are groups of painful, fluid-filled blisters. Unlike canker sores, cold sores are caused by a virus and are extremely contagious. Also, cold sores typically appear outside the mouth — usually under the nose, around the lips, or under the chin. Canker sores occur inside the mouth.

Taking B12 supplements can help reduce your outbreaks

In people with recurrent canker sores (also known as aphthous stomatitis), a nighttime dose of 1000 mcg of vitamin B-12 was found to reduce the number and duration of outbreaks. It also decreased pain as well. According to the research, “The average outbreak duration and the average number of ulcers per month decreased in both groups during the first four months of the trial. However, the duration of outbreaks, the number of ulcers, and the level of pain were reduced significantly at five and six months of treatment with vitamin B12. This reduction occurred regardless of initial vitamin B12 levels in the blood. During the last month of treatment a significant number of participants in the intervention group reached ‘no aphthous ulcers status.

L-lysine may also help

There is also some evidence that the amino acid L-lysine may help to prevent canker sores and reduce healing time. 500 mg 3 times a day is the recommended dosage. Always check with your doctor before starting any supplements.

What to do if you already have a breakout.

We also carry Orasoothe, an oral coating rinse that is even safe to swallow, is effective for pain relief for multiple affected sites.  SockIT!, an oral wound dressing, is convenient for one or two affected sites. It comes in a tube so it is easy to carry for fast relief. Call the office for more information.

We hope that you find our posts helpful and please feel free to forward this data to anyone who suffers from canker sores. Here at Cosmetic Dentistry of San Antonio we strive to educate our patients on all aspects of oral health. Dr. Camacho is committed to providing the very best care with the latest technology in a non-judgmental atmosphere.

If there is something you would like more information on or have suggestions for a post please email June Camacho at We look forward to hearing from you!


*excerpted from Web Md and Consumer Labs