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Dental and Oral Health Center

Canker Sores



I get canker sores about once a month. Is there anything I can do to limit the frequency?


There is no simple answer here. A small number of canker sore patients can relate their sores to contact with certain foods, oral hygiene products, medications or flavoring agents. Keeping a diary or a mental note of what contacts consistently precede ulcer development may be fruitful as you can then just avoid (as much as possible) that agent.

Unfortunately, most patients do not have such a simple answer. Staying well-nourished (a proper, balanced diet) and reducing emotional stress are consistent recommendations for canker sore sufferers. Evidence that stress plays a role is found in studies where professional students were found to have more sores during exam times while much fewer sores during vacations.

If only we could all stay on vacation!

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Response by:

John R Kalmar, DMD, PhD John R Kalmar, DMD, PhD
Clinical Professor of Pathology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University