Are you always feeling your mouth dry and uncomfortable when waking up in the morning? Do you want to drink water as soon as you get up? Do you find you have a bad taste in your mouth once you wake up? If your answer to these questions is yes, it’s necessary for you to identify the underlying causes of why you wake up with a dry mouth and find some solutions. This article is going to provide you with several treatments for dry mouth.
- Sleeping with an open mouth or snoring can contribute to waking up with a dry mouth.
- Many drugs, including blood pressure and anti-anxiety medications, commonly cause dry mouth as a side effect.
- Dry mouth tends to occur more frequently in older adults, with a higher prevalence in individuals over 65 years old.
- Avoid spicy or acidic foods before bedtime, limit caffeine consumption, and reduce alcohol intake.
- Keep a humidifier in the room at night to maintain moisture in the air.
- Choose a hotel with a sleeping environment similar to home, bring a familiar pillow, wear your own pajamas, and create a dark environment for sleep.
What’s the dry mouth?
Dry mouth, also called xerostomia, refers to a health condition that occurs when you don’t make enough saliva in your mouth. Due to the lack of saliva in a dry mouth, bacteria could easily take hold and cause cavities and gum disease.
A dry mouth may result in symptoms such as:
- Sore throat
- Dry tongue
- Difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty speaking
- A bad taste in the mouth
- Bad breath
What causes dry mouth when you wake up?
The reasons for dry mouth when waking up could be categorized into the following 6 aspects.
1. Mouth breathing
Your dry mouth may be intricately linked to your sleep habits, particularly if you find yourself waking up with a parched sensation. Two common sleep-related behaviors that significantly contribute to this issue are sleeping with your mouth open and snoring. When individuals sleep with their mouths open, it often leads to increased evaporation of saliva. Saliva plays a crucial role in maintaining oral health as it helps to cleanse the mouth, neutralize acids, and prevent bacterial growth. However, when mouth breathing occurs during sleep, the airflow can be more pronounced, causing a rapid evaporation of saliva and leaving the oral cavity dry.
Dry mouth is a prevalent side effect associated with the use of various medications, including commonly prescribed drugs like those for blood pressure management and anti-anxiety medications. The pharmacological compounds in these medications can interfere with the normal functioning of salivary glands, leading to a reduced production of saliva. This decrease in saliva flow is a key contributor to the sensation of dry mouth.
Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease, can contribute to the development of dry mouth. In individuals with diabetes, persistent high blood sugar levels can lead to increased urine production, potentially causing dehydration and subsequent dry mouth. Stroke survivors may experience difficulties with swallowing and altered salivary gland function, leading to reduced saliva production. Alzheimer’s disease, with its complex neurological impact, can also influence the body’s ability to regulate hydration levels, contributing to dry mouth.
4. Tobacco and alcohol
Consuming alcohol can exacerbate dry mouth as it possesses acidic properties, contributing to dehydration and potential dental issues. The acidity in alcoholic beverages can further compromise oral health, making individuals more susceptible to conditions like tooth decay. Additionally, tobacco use can alter the rate of salivary flow, diminishing the natural protective effects of saliva and impacting overall oral health.
5. Cancer therapy
The damage to the neck or head brought about by radiation treatment, surgery or injury could also be one reason for your dry mouth. In this case, your salivary glands are damaged, leading to long-term dry mouth.
Aging people tend to experience dry mouth more frequently. Some researches have shown that 30 percent of adults over 65 years old and nearly 40 percent of adults over age 80 years may have this condition.
Here are some treatments for alleviating dry mouth.
1. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water in waking hours
2. Avoid eating any spicy or acidic food before bed
3. Reduce your caffeine consumption
4. Limit alcohol intake
5. Quit smoking
6. Use a humidifier in your room at night to keep moisture in the air
7. Stop taking the medicine that may cause dry mouth. You could ask your pharmacist about it.
There are many reasons why you wake up with a dry mouth. Your lifestyle, sleeping habits and health condition may become the underlying causes. The above suggestions are for reference only. If your dry mouth becomes severe, you must consult your doctor. They could provide you the most reliable treatment.
If you have trouble sleeping, try ShutEye, an all-in-one sleep app. ShutEye brings a wide variety of tools to help you fall asleep and understand your sleep cycles from a scientific perspective.
So stop tossing and turning all night, and start falling asleep in a healthy and natural way.
You may also like:
Why do I wake up with a dry mouth?
Waking up with a dry mouth can be attributed to various factors such as mouth breathing, dehydration, sleep apnea, or a health condition that reduces saliva production during sleep.
What are the symptoms of dry mouth?
Symptoms of dry mouth include a sticky or dry feeling in the mouth, frequent thirst, sores in the mouth, cracked lips, a dry or rough tongue, and bad breath.
How can mouth breathing cause dry mouth while sleeping?
Breathing through the mouth can lead to increased evaporation of saliva, resulting in dryness. This can particularly occur during sleep, leading to waking up with a dry mouth.
What are common causes of dry mouth at night?
Common causes of dry mouth at night include sleeping with the mouth open, sleep apnea, dehydration, certain medications, and underlying health conditions.
Can cancer treatment cause a dry mouth?
Yes, cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy to the head and neck can often lead to reduced saliva production, resulting in dry mouth as a side effect.
How do I prevent dry mouth while sleeping?
To prevent dry mouth while sleeping, you can try staying hydrated throughout the day, using a humidifier in the bedroom, practicing good oral hygiene, and breathing through your nose rather than your mouth.
What dental problems can result from chronic dry mouth?
Chronic dry mouth can lead to dental problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, and oral infections due to the reduced saliva’s protective and cleansing effects in the mouth.
What is the relationship between sleep apnea and dry mouth?
Individuals with obstructive sleep apnea may be more likely to experience dry mouth due to factors like mouth breathing, the use of CPAP machines, and the potential for reduced saliva production during sleep.
What are common ways to relieve dry mouth?
Some common ways to relieve dry mouth include sipping water throughout the day, using sugar-free lozenges or gum, avoiding caffeine and tobacco, and considering saliva-stimulating products.
Can dry mouth occur throughout the day?
Yes, dry mouth can occur not only while sleeping but also throughout the day, especially if the individual is prone to factors such as mouth breathing, dehydration, or certain medications that contribute to reduced saliva production.