Can medications left in my mouth at night hurt my teeth?

Medications left in your mouth at night can hurt your teeth. Medications contain chemicals which may be acidic. These type of medicines can erode the enamel of your teeth. Other medications may contain sugars or sweeteners. The sugar in the medicines can cause cavities. It is important to take your medicines properly.

Leaving any medications in your mouth overnight can result in tooth decay. This could cause bacteria or acid on the teeth. Prolonged exposure can then cause decay or cavities. It is important to brush your teeth to remove these bacteria from the teeth. Not doing so, such as overnight, allows more exposure time to this. Be sure to discuss with your dentist any medication you may be taking that will require use overnight and potential for oral health problems.

Yes they can. Some medications are acidic (e.g. aspirin) and can produce a chemical burn on the soft tissues (gums, skin) inside the mouth as can dissolve away small amount of enamel. Other medications may have sweeteners that can promote tooth decay if they are left to linger in the mouth during sleep. A good rule of thumb is that the last things touch your teeth before sleeping should be dental floss and a toothbrush. Take your nightly medications, then floss and brush.
Some medications left in the mouth at night or while sleeping may damage the teeth or soft tissues inside the mouth. Medications that contain sugars like glucose or fructose can promote tooth decay. Some cough remedies or lozenges may contain ingredients that can ulcerate the cheeks, gums or palate. I recommend brushing and flossing before bed after the use of medications.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.