Vitamin C and dental healing: testing and placebo effect

Gen Dent. 1993 Nov-Dec;41(6):523-7; quiz 529-30.


The present study augments a growing body of evidence that indicates supplemental vitamin C may be beneficial in speeding healing following tooth extraction and in reducing the likelihood of alveolalgia and other complications. No adverse side effects were encountered from administration of vitamin C in our studies or in a recent investigation involving intake of 10 g/day; thus, carefully tested higher dosages ("megadose therapy") might be applied successfully to patients with alveolalgia or orthognathic conditions. Hanck comments on the relative safety of ascorbic acid in medicine: "The few literature references suggesting adverse effects of ascorbic acid are outnumbered by a large number of clinical studies in which no adverse effects have been observed. Up to 5 g of ascorbic acid daily may be administered safely even over a long-term". Further research is recommended to determine whether vitamin C is of similar value in hastening proper recovery from other oral surgical procedures. Vitamin C is a relatively safe, inexpensive, over-the-counter product that may be more effective in dental healing than previously known.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Ascorbic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Dry Socket / etiology
  • Edema / etiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain, Postoperative / etiology
  • Placebos
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Surgical Wound Infection / etiology
  • Tooth Extraction*
  • Tooth Socket / drug effects*
  • Wound Healing / drug effects
  • Young Adult


  • Antioxidants
  • Placebos
  • Ascorbic Acid