Cough syrups are one of the most common over the counter medicines that people usually rely on. They might help your body in getting rid of the rough bouts of coughing, but there’s more to these syrups than you know. The taste of such syrups might give you an idea about the quantity of sugar present in it.. It may sound like a stretch, but cough syrups are not considered good for your oral health. The sugary composition could be harmful to your teeth. They may degrade your enamel which puts you at a higher risk of developing cavities. Some of the ingredients present in cough syrups that are harmful to your teeth are:

  • Sucrose: The fructose or sucrose that is added to make the syrup taste better could be potentially dangerous to your dental health. The bacteria present in your mouth breaks down this sugar to produce acid. This acid could be harmful to  enamel, which is the outer protective covering of the teeth. Degradation of enamel may cause development of cavities which may later cause you discomfort.
  • Citric Acid: Although it has Vitamin C, too much of citric acid can also be harmful to your teeth. Combined with the antihistamines that are present in cough syrups, this acid can cause various dental problems.
  • Alcohol: Another major ingredient of cough syrups is alcohol. It has a dehydrating effect in the mouth which decreases  production of saliva. Saliva is  crucial for maintaining your oral health. Bacteria present in saliva removes the sugars and acid and internally cleanses build ups. Higher quantities of alcohol could be detrimental to oral health. 

How to prevent this    

While cough syrups may work wonders for relieving your cough, it is important to keep your dental health in mind as well. The ways in which you can prevent the development of cavities from cough syrups are:

  • Choose a sugar-free alternative for cough syrups. Sugar free options are readily available nowadays. Also, remember to read the label for the amount of sugar content before buying it.
  • Do not drink cough syrup before going to bed  as saliva production naturally decreases  at night.
  • If you have to, do not forget to brush your teeth after taking cough syrup. Use a fluoride-based toothpaste for best results.
  • You can also rinse your mouth properly to clean the teeth.
  • Try using a pill instead of syrup.
  • You can also take the syrup along with a meal. This will ensure that the saliva production in your mouth has not lowered. 

These basic steps can help you reverse the damage caused by these sugary cough syrups.  Cough and other symptoms of flu can be extremely daunting to deal with, but you should not be putting one part of your body at risk to cure another. If you see any cavities developing or feel pain in your teeth after using too much cough syrup, visit your dentist as they can help you deal with it before it is too late.