Cough syrup and cavities
Having a cough, cold or the flu can make life miserable. Most will reach for the over-the-counter medication to help ease the symptoms. But a spoonful of medicine could add tooth decay to the list of potential side effects.
Cough drops and liquid cough medicine contain several ingredients that make the teeth more susceptible to decay.
Ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and sucrose contribute to decay because the bacteria in the mouth will feed on the sugars. It breaks them down, forming acid that attack the enamel on the teeth.
Citric acid is also found in cough medicine. It will wear down the enamel of the teeth. There are even some antihistamine syrups that contain low pH levels and high acidity. Both can be a dangerous combination for teeth.
A lot of popular cold and cough syrups contain alcohol. This has a drying effect on the mouth. Saliva is needed to keep cavities away because it rinses the sugars and acids off the teeth. So when the mouth has less saliva, the sugars and acids remain in the mouth longer, leading to a greater risk of tooth decay. Teeth Whitening in Daphne AL
All of these risks are magnified if the medication is taken right before bed. You produce less saliva when you sleep, so sugar and acids remain in contact with the teeth longer.
So What’s the remedy?
There are things you can do to help lessen the effects of sugars and acids in liquid medications.
- Take any liquid meds at meal time instead of bedtime. More saliva is produced and it is able to rinse away the sugars and acids.
- Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste after taking any medication.
- If a toothbrush isn’t handy, rinse your mouth well with water or chew some sugar-free gum after taking liquid meds.
- Take calcium supplements or use topical fluoride after taking liquid medications. Teeth Whitening in Daphne AL
- If a pill form is available, choose this form instead of a liquid medication.
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