Aphthous stomatitis, or better known as mouth ulcers or canker sores, affect approximately 20% of the general population to varying degrees; many are plagued by recurring ulcers. These non-contagious, non-infectious sores usually last between 7-10 days, interfering with eating and drinking. Hitting these inflamed areas accidentally while chewing or brushing the teeth exacerbates the condition, causing much pain. To date, conventional treatment methods involve managing pain and avoiding reinjuring the area. Although a definitive cause has not yet been determined, researchers have postulated several theories of causation such as eating a nutrient-deficient diet, irritating toothpastes, food sensitivities, and injury to the delicate inner lining of the mouth. Beyond these speculative causes, consuming dairy products is often an overlooked contributing factor.

In the video below, Dr. Michael Greger explains the connection between recurring mouth ulcers and an "immune reaction against cow’s milk proteins." The video highlights one study where researchers detected high levels of anti-cow's milk protein antibodies in the bloodstreams of those with recurrent mouth ulcers. "The thought is that the milk proteins themselves penetrate deep into the lining of the mouth, inducing a major immune disorder where our body attacks the foreign cow proteins and in doing so ulcerates our mucosal lining," Dr. Greger says. When test subjects cut dairy from their diets, their ulcers disappeared with no reappearance. After introducing dairy back into their diets however, the ulcers came back. Therefore, if you've been suffering from this bothersome condition, I encourage you to drop the dairy from your diet. Cow's milk was designed for baby calves -- it's not essential for human consumption and comes with numerous health risks.