Waking up with a dry mouth can be a terrible start to your day. But if it hasn’t happened to you before, you might be wondering, “why do I wake up with a dry mouth?” There are several reasons for dry mouth, which we’ll discuss below.
How A Dry Mouth Affects Your Health
A dry mouth is medically known as xerostomia. While waking up with a dry mouth can be uncomfortable at the least, it can also impact your throat and voice. As a result, you may experience dryness and associated discomfort until a few hours after waking up. Your voice may also be hoarse, and you might experience a burning or stinging sensation in your throat or mouth. Notably, a dry mouth can cause you to wake up with bad breath that may even persist despite brushing and flossing. Finally, it might also be difficult to eat or drink for a little while, as your throat and oral tissues are all dried up.
You may not experience all of these symptoms, and dry mouth can vary in severity. However, there may be an underlying health condition to blame.
Why Do I Wake Up With A Dry Mouth?
Not producing enough saliva, particularly while you sleep, is the reason for dry mouth. Saliva is important chiefly because it lubricates your throat, mouth, and oral soft tissues. However, it’s also important for your oral health: saliva inhibits bacterial activity inside your mouth. Without it, you develop bad breath due to bacterial waste production. You also have a higher chance of developing tooth decay and other dental problems. Over time, you can also experience a loss in sense of taste or smell.
But why are you not producing enough saliva in the first place?
The first thing you should do is to check your medications. Many commonly-prescribed medications have dry mouth listed as a side effect, such as those for sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, mood instability, and blood pressure.
Secondly, one of the most common causes of dry mouth is sleep apnea: a condition where you stop breathing several times a night. Obstructive sleep apnea can cause you to sleep and breathe with your mouth open. This quickly dries out the mouth’s soft tissues; saliva production just can’t keep up.
Finally, it’s also common for older individuals to have a dry mouth, and people over 65 commonly experience it. However, patients receiving radiation therapy or chemotherapy also suffer from dry mouth, as side effects can include disruption of salivary gland function.
Solutions for Dry Mouth
The most important thing you can do to treat your dry mouth is to stay hydrated! Saliva production decreases with dehydration, so make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, you can use a CPAP or BiPAP machine, which your doctor can prescribe after performing a sleep study. These machines provide a steady stream of air that keeps your nasal passages open while you sleep. Some models can also humidify the air to keep the soft tissues of your mouth and throat moistened.
You can also use a humidifier in your room, particularly in colder, drier weather. Keeping the air in your room moist can prevent your mouth from drying out.
If you’re experiencing dry mouth during the day, chewing sugar-free gum can help increase saliva production.
Contact your local oral healthcare professional if you’re still having trouble with dry mouth. A qualified dentist will be able to see if your dry mouth is affecting your oral health and offer the right diagnosis and treatment.
Hermann Park Smiles is your home for high-quality dental care in Houston, Texas. We provide an unforgettable dental experience through our exceptional dental care practices and have a full spectrum of dental treatments available for all of our patients. Let us help you with your oral concerns and get you on the path to better health! Contact us at (713) 522-1717, and we’ll be happy to help.