Are you constantly waking up with a dry mouth? You’re not alone as many people experience this frustrating sensation, leaving them thirsty and uncomfortable throughout the day. Even if they drink lots of water before going to bed, their mouths would still dry up.
This guide will help you understand what causes dry mouth and the different ways how to prevent dry mouth while sleeping. Hopefully, you can apply some of the preventive methods mentioned to help you wake up without the dry sensation lingering in your mouth.
Why Does Your Mouth Dry Up?
Sore Throat and Dry Mouth
One of the main causes of dry mouth at night is a sore throat. When you have a scratchy throat, it can be difficult to breathe through your nose, forcing you to sleep with your mouth open. This leads to saliva evaporation and a dry mouth.
Saliva is essential for maintaining good oral health as it helps wash away food particles and bacteria and neutralizes acids that can cause tooth decay. And when you have a sore throat, your saliva production decreases, leaving your mouth vulnerable to bacteria.
Breathing Through Your Mouth
Some people naturally breathe through their mouths during sleep due to allergies, sinus problems or a deviated septum. Breathing through your mouth can cause a dry mouth as the constant air flow dries out saliva in your mouth.
If you’re experiencing dry mouth from breathing, you may need to consult with a doctor to address any underlying issues that may be causing you to breathe through your mouth at night.
Dehydration can also lead to dry mouth when sleeping. When your body is dehydrated, it tries to conserve water by reducing the amount of saliva produced. This can be caused by insufficient fluid intake, excessive sweating, or even taking certain medications.
Dehydration not only causes dry mouth but also increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Saliva can remineralize your teeth and protect them from bacteria. Without enough saliva, your teeth are more susceptible to damage.
Oral Health and Dry Mouth
Having a dry mouth can have serious consequences on your oral health. Saliva is essential for maintaining a healthy mouth, and when there isn’t enough of it, it leads to different oral problems such as:
- Tooth Decay. Saliva helps wash away food particles and neutralize acids that can cause tooth decay. These substances will remain in your mouth if there’s a lack of saliva production, increasing your risk of cavities.
- Gum Disease. A dry mouth causes an imbalance of bacteria in your mouth, which also leads to gum disease. Saliva helps keep the levels of bacteria in check. But without it, harmful bacteria can thrive.
- Bad Breath. Saliva helps get rid of bacteria that cause bad breath. Without enough saliva, these bacteria can build up and cause unpleasant odors.
Vital Tips to Prevent Dry Mouth
If you’ve recently asked yourself, “How can I stop dry mouth while sleeping,” here are ten excellent tips to keep your mouth moist and avoid dry mouth symptoms.
1. Stay Hydrated
The simplest way to avoid dry mouth is by staying hydrated throughout the day. Make sure to drink plenty of water and other fluids like herbal teas or sugar-free drinks. This will help improve your saliva production and prevent dry mouth at night. You should also place a water bottle beside you for easy access.
2. Use a Bedroom Humidifier
Dry air can contribute to dry mouth, especially in the winter months. Consider using an air humidifier at night to increase moisture levels in the air and prevent your mouth from drying out while you sleep.
3. Breathe Through Your Nose
Breathing through your mouth can cause it to become dry. Try breathing through your nose while sleeping, as this will keep your mouth closed and keep it from drying out.
4. Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol can have a dehydrating effect on the body, leading to dry mouth. Limit your intake of these substances, especially close to bedtime, to avoid waking up with a dry mouth.
5. Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Chewing sugarless gum can stimulate saliva production and keep your mouth and throat moist. Make sure to choose a sugar-free option to avoid any negative impact on your dental health.
6. Try Saliva-Producing Products
There are various oral products available that can help increase saliva production, such as sprays, lozenges and mouthwashes. Consult with your dentist or doctor to find the best option for you.
7. Avoid Tobacco Products
Tobacco is a common culprit that can dry out the mouth and cause a host of other oral health issues. Quitting smoking or using other tobacco products can not only help prevent dry mouth but also improve your overall health condition.
8. Stay Away From Salty Foods
Salty foods can make you feel thirsty and contribute to dry mouth. Avoid consuming too much salt, especially before bedtime.
9. Sleep With Your Head Elevated
Sleeping with your head elevated can help prevent saliva from pooling in the back of your throat, which can cause choking or coughing at night.
10. Keep a Glass of Water by Your Bedside
Having a glass of water by your bedside can make it easy to take sips throughout the night. This will help keep your mouth moist and prevent dry mouth symptoms.
Can a CPAP Machine Prevent Dry Mouth?
CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines are commonly used to treat obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which an individual’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. This can lead to numerous health issues, including daytime fatigue, high blood pressure and even heart problems.
Apart from the other health issues mentioned, CPAP machines unfortunately cause dry mouth issues.
Dry mouth is a common side effect of using a CPAP machine. This occurs when the pressurized air from the machine blows through the nasal passages, causing a dry throat and mouth. This can be uncomfortable and even lead to other issues, including bad breath and a decreased production of saliva.
How to Prevent Dry Mouth While Sleeping With CPAP Machines
1. Keep Hydrated. One of the easiest ways to combat dry mouth is by staying hydrated throughout the day. Make sure to drink plenty of water and avoid dehydrating beverages like alcohol and caffeine. You can also try using a humidifier in your bedroom to add moisture to the air while you sleep with the CPAP.
2. Use a Heated Humidifier. If your CPAP machine has a heated humidifier option, use it. This will add warm, moist air to your therapy, preventing a dry mouth. You can adjust the heat level depending on your personal preference.
3. Wear a Chin Strap. A common cause of dry mouth while using a CPAP machine is air escaping through your mouth during sleep. A chinstrap can help keep your mouth closed and prevent this from happening.
4. Use a Full-Face Mask. Another option to prevent air from escaping through your mouth is to use a full-face mask instead of a nasal one. This will cover both your nose and mouth, ensuring that the air stays in your airway.
5. Use a Saline Spray. If you’re still experiencing dry mouth despite trying these methods, you can try using a saline nasal spray before bedtime. This will moisten your nasal passages and prevent dry mouth.
Visit Shoreline Dental Care for Expert Advice!
Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is a condition in which the salivary glands do not produce enough saliva to keep the mouth moist. But at Shoreline Dental Care, our dentists know the need for a healthy and well-functioning mouth. That’s why we are committed to providing expert advice on how to prevent dry mouth when sleeping.
We have treated patients with dry mouth issues and different kinds of oral diseases. So, there’s no reason for you not to visit Shoreline Dental Care, where we can provide you with quality dental services.
Reach out to us right away so that we can figure out how we can resolve your dry mouth issues and ensure you get peaceful nights moving forward!