Snippet: Got canker sores?

My friend Sonja PM’d me with some blog-worthy info the other day. Harmony mentioned this in the comments of my fluoride post, but it’s a big enough issue that I think it needs its own Snippet.

Sonja wrote:

I have suffered from lifelong canker sores. Finally I started to do some research and realized that I was allergic to an ingredient in my toothpaste - Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. In the last few months I have switched to Burts Bees SLS-free toothpaste. NOT ONE canker sore since.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is a surfactant ingredient used in many hygiene products (toothpaste, shampoo, bubble bath, etc.) and can cause topical allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Its role in the exacerbation of canker sores is refuted by many toothpaste companies, but there is a growing amount of evidence showing a correlation between SLS and aphthous ulcers.

While the studies are not absolutely conclusive, it is certainly easy enough for canker sore sufferers to switch to an SLS-free toothpaste to see if it helps heal their mouths.

We use Tom’s of Maine at our house: some of their formulas do not use SLS.

I’ve also tried J|A|S|O|N Sea Fresh, which doesn’t use SLS.

Burt’s Bees toothpastes never use SLS. According to their website:

Unlike other toothpastes on the market today, our natural toothpastes do not contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which is commonly used in mainstream toothpastes as a foaming agent…


Other culprits of recurring canker sores can be a Zinc deficiency, stress, and careless brushing habits. Some studies have shown that supplementing with vitamin B12 can help reduce canker sores, too. You can read more about other (not so clean/natural) treatments here.


Thank you, Sonja, for bringing up this subject again. I hope this information helps someone else out there!

Hey Laura, I think... Snippet: Got canker sores?

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