Document Type



Dentistry | Medicine and Health Sciences



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.


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 once-daily placebo for up to 365 days.


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.


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 multi-vitamin supplementation routinely as prophylaxis for RAS.


J Am Dent Assoc. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2014 January 3. Published in final edited form as: J Am Dent Assoc. 2012 April; 143(4): 370–376. PMCID: PMC3880249 NIHMSID: NIHMS507148

Included in

Dentistry Commons