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How to Stop Dry Mouth While Sleeping

Posted by On 12-06-2022

Do you find it difficult to talk because your mouth is so dry? Do you wake in the middle of the night with a dry, sore throat? Do you need water as soon as you wake up in the morning? Do you find you have bad breath even though you are brushing, flossing, and using mouth wash every day? If you answered yes to any of these questions you might be one of the millions of people that are waking up with dry mouth every day.

Not only does dry mouth get you up out of bed in search of a glass of water at night, but it also comes with some risks. Although dryness might seem harmless, it can actually lead to a number of issues including an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Also known as xerostomia, the lack of saliva in your mouth is not normal. There are a number of causes and risks associated with the bacteria left in your mouth when you are not producing the proper amount of saliva. Here is everything you should know about dry mouth and how to stop it while you sleep.

What is dry mouth?

Xerostomia — or the much easier to pronounce term dry mouth — is an actual health condition. It affects the salivary glands in your mouth so that you are unable to produce the saliva required to keep your mouth wet. A wet mouth is very important as it neutralizes the acids that are produced by bacteria. Saliva helps limit bacteria by washing away food particles so bacterial growth is not allowed to run rampant in your mouth and throat.

Why do you need saliva?

Saliva helps prevent tooth decay, enhances your ability to taste, and also allows you to chew and swallow your food more easily, which in turn aids in digestion. When you don’t have enough saliva, it is more than just a nuisance. It affects the health of your teeth and gums, your appetite, and also interferes with your ability to enjoy food.

Without enough saliva, the build-up of bacteria can lead to tooth decay, infections and tooth loss. Saliva production is also necessary to help keep your breath fresh. Bacteria and particles of food trapped in your mouth can lead to bad breath.

Sleep-Related Dry Mouth

Sleep-related xerostomia is noticeable when you have either a dry mouth, dry sore throat or both when you wake up. In fact, it is often the need for water that can cause you to wake during the night.

As much as 23 percent of Canadians suffer from sleep-related dry mouth. Although we tend to produce more saliva when awake, saliva production should continue throughout sleep albeit it at a diminished level. It is believed a slowdown of saliva production during sleep is related to our circadian rhythm. Salivary secretion and swallowing involve rhythmic masticatory muscle activity that takes place as we sleep. During sleep, saliva provides the necessary lubricants needed to protect your oral tissue as well as the health of your esophagus.

Symptoms of Dry Mouth

Common symptoms of dry mouth include:

  • Dryness
  • A sticky feeling in your mouth
  • Thick saliva
  • Stringy saliva
  • Bad breath
  • Difficulty chewing, speaking and swallowing
  • Hoarseness
  • Dry or sore throat
  • Dry tongue
  • Tongue grooves
  • Unpleasant taste or changes to the taste of food
  • A bad taste in your mouth
  • Increased discomfort when wearing dentures

Do you have dry mouth?

You can ask yourself a few questions to determine if you have dry mouth:

  • Are you taking more than two medications a day?
  • Do you feel your mouth is dry during the day despite drinking fluids?
  • Do you find you are constantly eating or drinking to avoid the discomfort of a dry mouth?
  • Do you awaken at night feeling thirsty or needing water?
  • Does your mouth become dry when you are speaking?

If you answer yes to any or all of these questions, chances are you are suffering from dry mouth.

Common Causes of Dry Mouth

Although dry mouth can be due to xerostomia, this is uncommon. Instead, it is more likely caused by one of the following:

  • Antidepressants, high blood pressure medications, antihistamines, decongestants, muscle relaxants, beta-blockers, anti-hypertensives, diuretics and pain medications
  • Ageing
  • Chemotherapy
  • Damage to the neck or head due to radiation treatment, surgery or injury
  • Nerve damage in the head and neck
  • Diabetes, stroke, thrush, Alzheimer's disease, autoimmune diseases
  • Snoring and breathing with your mouth open
  • Tobacco, alcohol, and recreational drug use such as methamphetamine and marijuana
  • Caffeine

Complications of Dry Mouth

If left untreated, dry mouth can lead to the following complications:

  • Increased plaque, tooth decay and gum disease
  • Mouth sores
  • Yeast infection of the mouth
  • Sores in and or around the mouth
  • Split skin at the corners of the mouth
  • Cracked lips
  • Poor nutrition due to difficulty chewing and swallowing

How to Stop Dry Mouth at Night

Living with dry mouth is not fun. It is uncomfortable and can also make you self-conscious due to bad breath. As soon as you start feeling dry mouth either when you wake up, or throughout the day, it is important to take steps that will return moisture. This will help you avoid the risks associated with dry mouth.

The good news is there are a number of solutions that can help you stop dry mouth at night including:

  • Remain hydrated throughout the day by drinking plenty of water
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste
  • Use dry mouth oral rinse
  • Use dry mouth moisturizing spray
  • Avoid spicy and acidic foods before bed
  • Quit smoking
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Avoid recreational drug use
  • Speak to your pharmacist about regular prescription and over the counter medications you take to learn more about side effects and potential changes to medications if dry mouth persists

If dry mouth persists you can speak to our office. We can identify the cause and recommend changes to your oral health regime to keep you more comfortable.

For more information about chronic dry mouth when sleeping, call Milltown Dental at 905-878-8528 or contact us here.

29 Comments

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29 Comments

  • Posted on 13-07-2022 by smith patterson

    Just use nasal strips. Available at any pharmacy, nasal strips gently hold your nostrils open while you sleep. Evidence suggests that they may be effective at discouraging mouth breathing.

  • Posted on 20-05-2022 by Ramin mottahed

    I have dry mouth just at sleep time ,because of it I wake up frequently and can’t go back to sleep ,my doctor prescribed me some exsume for reflux and bodestonide for my congestion, but it’s not working, what should I do to relief

  • Posted on 27-04-2022 by Janet

    I wake up a least twice a night with my tongue thick with gunge

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  • Posted on 21-03-2022 by ALAN DAVIES

    I have a problem with a very dry mouth at night while sleeping , Through out the day no problem at all , just at night and early hours of the morning , i have tried everything under the sun to try to stop it with no success . I have had surgery to my neck previously after working in the mines and i did have to stop working in my early sixties because of my neck problem. If you can think of anything that may help me i would appreciate it very much. Regards Alan DAVIES.

  • Posted on 04-03-2022 by OLUWATOYIN AJOSE

    I normally have very dried during the night when sleeping. Cheers

  • Posted on 25-02-2022 by Delene Metelerkamp

    Thank you for the info and advise for dry mouth. I have white plague and red spots on my tongue without pain and suffer from bad breath. Do I have to go to the dentist or a general practitioner.

  • Posted on 28-01-2022 by Scott Lamb

    Does Cpap affect dry mouth? Should you brush your teeth immediately after waking up with the w dry mouth?

  • Posted on 28-01-2022 by Scott Lamb

    Does Cpap affect dry mouth?

  • Posted on 27-01-2022 by Isaac peter

    Please I have dry mouth and trout all day round for time now I don’t know what to do

  • Posted on 27-01-2022 by Tina Johnson

    How can get rid of dry mouth

  • Posted on 23-01-2022 by SHAKEEL KHAN

    Tongue become dry when I am sleeping and awake

  • Posted on 14-01-2022 by Nilojit Bhattacharjee

    Dry mouth and throat during sleep at night and early morning. I have been taking Cap Tamdura for my prostate enlargement and use to consume very less water. Please advise .

  • Posted on 10-01-2022 by Donald osuji

    My questions are,
    I always have a thick saliva stock in my throat during sleep, and I think my mouth is always dry when I wake up. How do I take care of these troubling situation. Also I struggle to breath when am sleeping, there’s like a whizzing sound during when I sleep.

    What is the best treatment for me, thanks

  • Posted on 31-12-2021 by Mrs Binu Phukan

    After take medicine and take sleep mouth is dry what have to do I am a diabetic and Sinhan’s syndram .It is happen when my rt. Hand facture acidentlt and take orthopedic medicine and diabetic .

  • Posted on 29-12-2021 by ALAN DAVIES

    I HAVE A BIG PROBLEM WITH TERRIBLE DRY MOUTH AT NIGHT , THROUGH OUT THE DAY NO PROBLEM. I HAVE TRIED ALL DIFFERENT MOUTH SPRAYS , I HAVE TRIED TAPING MY MOUTH SHUT BUT THAT GIVES ME HEADACHES , I HAVE TRIED TUBES IN MY NOSE, ALSO HEADACHES , I HAVE TRIED HUMIDIFIERS, I HAVE TRIED EVERYTHING I CAN THINK OF , I STAY IN SOUTH AFRICA AND WOULD APPRECIATE ANY HELP OR ADVICE YOU CAN GIVE ME , MEDS ARE BLOOD PRESSURE ,ANTI DEPRESSANTS AND PAIN MEDS . REGARDS ALAN DAVIES.

  • Posted on 21-11-2021 by Sajjad Ahmed

    Tongue, throat and mouth are
    getting dry while sleeping at night and sometimes nose is getting chocked.i have a dental problems also, please advise any medicine.

  • Posted on 19-11-2021 by Florence

    I really need help with dry mouth and throat. I am in South Africa. Can someone please email me

  • Posted on 04-11-2021 by Charlotte Litton

    I have been waking up for the past year with extreme dry mouth and throat. I can tell I don’t have a taste for food like I use to. I just eat because I know I need to. I drink water all day. I do not smoke or drink. I’m only on one medication, high blood pressure..

  • Posted on 11-10-2021 by Vinod Kumar saini

    Tongue and throat is getting dry while sleeping and sometimes nose is getting chocked.i have a dental problems also.

  • Posted on 10-10-2021 by Jack Bolton

    I suffer terribly with dry mouth whilst sleeping at night
    I take a long list of medications related to heart bypass surgery and also spent 3 months in hospital on an emotional machine for boop (pneumonia
    Is there any over the counter medications I can take for this.
    I reside in South Africa.

  • Posted on 28-04-2021 by Eugene Waldenmaier, PE Retired

    only recently (last few months) Humidifier tank goes dry with 4-5 hours and I wakeup with dry mouth and poor mask fit. please call 540-710-1810
    Please walk me through adjustments if that may correct the issue.

  • Posted on 21-04-2021 by Naina

    I am Corona positive and my mouth continuously drying.

  • Posted on 09-03-2021 by Gerald Robinson

    Dry mouth at night . What do I do for it