If you’ve ever woken up with cottonmouth, you know that it can be uncomfortable. It can take a bit to overcome that dry, sticky sensation, but eventually you forget about it, especially if you know what caused it to occur!
What if you don’t know why it happens or you start noticing dry mouth at night more often? Let’s talk about what causes dry mouth, known as xerostomia, while sleeping and what you can do about it.
Impact on Oral Health
Though dry mouth at night may not indicate a medical emergency, it shouldn’t be taken lightly. For most people, dry mouth is uncomfortable, but it can also increase your risk of developing oral conditions, like gum disease, tooth decay, and mouth infection. If you wear dentures, dry mouth can complicate wearing them.
Occasional dry mouth that can be explained is generally not cause for concern. However, if you experience dry mouth often – or every night – it may indicate an underlying medical condition, like diabetes or Sjogren’s Syndrome.
Symptoms of Dry Mouth
Dry mouth can look and feel different from person to person, especially because of the unique causes. If you have any of these symptoms, it may indicate dry mouth at night.
- A dry, sticky feeling in your mouth
- Frequent thirst
- Sores in and around your mouth and lips
- Dry feeling in your throat
- Burning, tingling, dryness, or redness of your tongue
- Hoarseness, sore throat, or dry nasal passages in the morning
What Causes Dry Mouth at Night?
Dry mouth at night can be caused by several conditions or situations. You may experience it occasionally due to infections, viruses, or not drinking enough fluids throughout the day. However, it’s important to pay attention to when it happens so that you can figure out what causes extremely dry mouth while sleeping.
- Dehydration is a common cause of dry mouth at night, and it can be triggered by illness, excessive sweating, and blood loss, among other things.
- Certain medications cause dry mouth.
- Some autoimmune conditions, like Sjogren’s Syndrome impact the body’s ability to make bodily fluids, like tears and saliva.
- Nerve damage to the tissues of the head and neck due to injury or surgery can impact the salivary glands and cause dry mouth.
- Lifestyle choices, like smoking, contribute to dry mouth at night.
- Mouth breathing instead of nose breathing increases air flow through your mouth and can dry you out.
- Infections and allergies can trigger dry mouth
- Sleep Apnea is a common cause of dry mouth overnight.
Treatment: How To Get Rid of Dry Mouth at Night?
How do you get rid of dry mouth – especially at night when you’re sleeping? The solution depends on what causes your dry mouth. For example, if it’s caused by medication, you need to speak with your doctor to adjust the dose or switch to an alternative.
1. Medicinal Solutions
Doctors may prescribe a special oral rinse to preserve the moisture in your mouth. In some cases, your physician can prescribe a medication to increase saliva production. Keep in mind that if your dry mouth is caused by an underlying medical condition, it’s necessary to treat that condition.
2. Home Treatment and Natural Remedies for Dry Mouth at Night
Treating dry mouth at night may seem challenging since you’re asleep, but there are steps you can take before bed to help.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Follow a good oral health routine complete with fluoridated toothpaste.
- Breathe through your nose instead of your mouth.
- Install a humidifier in your bedroom to increase the amount of moisture in the air.
- Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake because they make your mouth drier.
- Avoid tobacco products that dry out your mouth.
When to See a Doctor About Dry Mouth at Night
Dry mouth isn’t usually cause for immediate concern but may require medical intervention in some cases. Generally, you can address it with your dentist or doctor at regular check-ups, however you should contact a medical professional in these situations:
- The dry mouth affects your quality of sleep,
- It is causing you pain or discomfort,
- Or you experience more dental cavities without any other known cause.
If you have concerns about dry mouth at night or it’s time for a check up, the team at Jefferson Dental and Orthodontics is here for you. Book an appointment at the office nearest you!