Tupelo, MS – Dr. John Kenney – “Your Dental Health” – Cough Syrup

Coughs, colds and flu can make your life miserable -- but the medicines you choose can make it worse. Because many cough drops and liquid medications contain ingredients that can promote tooth decay: Ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup and sucrose contribute to decay when the bacteria in your mouth feed on these sugars, creating acids that attack the enamel of your teeth. Citric acid can also wear down the enamel. And some antihistamine syrups contain low pH levels and high acidity, which can be a bad combination for your teeth. Some cough syrups contain alcohol, which can make your mouth dry. Less saliva to rinse away sugars and acids means they remain in the mouth longer, leading to greater risk for decay. This problem is magnified if you take medications before bedtime since you produce less saliva when you sleep. After taking these medications, brush, and rinse thoroughly with mouthwash, to prevent damage to your teeth.