Multivitamin therapy for recurrent aphthous stomatitis: A randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled trial

Rajesh V. Lalla, Linda E. Choquette, Richard S. Feinn, Harriet Zawistowski, Marie C. Latortue, Edward T. Kelly, Lorena Baccaglini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Background: Recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) is a painful condition of unknown etiology, affecting more than 2.5 billion people worldwide. Vitamin deficiencies have been implicated as a possible cause. Methods: The authors conducted a single-center, randomized, parallel-arm, double-masked, placebo-controlled study to examine the effect of daily multivitamin supplementation on the number and duration of RAS episodes. The authors randomly assigned 160 adults who had a validated history of at least three episodes of idiopathic minor RAS within the previous 12 months to one of two groups: the first group (n = 83) received a once-daily multivitamin containing 100 percent of the U.S. reference daily intake (RDI) of essential vitamins, and the second group (n = 77) received oncedaily placebo for up to 365 days. Results: The results showed no significant difference in the mean number of new RAS episodes between the multivitamin (4.19 episodes) and placebo (4.60 episodes) arms during the study period (P =.69). The mean duration of new RAS episodes also was similar for the multivitamin (8.66 days) and placebo (8.99 days) arms (P =.60). Furthermore, the authors found no differences between the two arms with regard to mouth pain, normalcy of diet or compliance with the study medication regimen. Conclusion: Daily multivitamin supplementation, with the RDI of essential vitamins, did not result in a reduction in the number or duration of RAS episodes. Clinical Implications: Clinicians should not recommend multivitamin supplementation routinely as prophylaxis for RAS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)370-376
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Dental Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Canker sore
  • Multivitamin
  • Recurrent aphthous stomatitis
  • Vitamin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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