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How to prevent dry mouth while sleeping?

Feb 6, 2023Oral health

How to prevent dry mouth while sleeping?

There are people who are seeking to prevent dry mouth while sleeping, and it is safe to assume that millions of them experience it at least once in their lives. However, estimates vary widely. If you happen to be one of them, you know how frustrating and uncomfortable it is to wake up parched, without relief, at night. A chronic condition of dry mouth is not only irritating and painful, but if left untreated, it can lead to decay of the teeth and gum disease.

It is also known as xerostomia because there is not enough saliva in the mouth. The bacteria that are left in your mouth when you do not produce enough saliva can lead to a number of problems, including a number of serious health risks.

Individuals with dry mouth can relate to the difficulty of managing this condition. Not only does it impact one’s quality of life, but it can make it difficult to obtain restful sleep. It is a common condition in which the worst symptoms occur primarily at night, disrupting sleep. The condition results from a decreased production of saliva by the salivary glands, resulting in a lack of moisture within the mouth. Saliva plays an essential role in minimizing the acidity and bacteria levels in the oral cavity that can be detrimental to oral health, resulting in tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.

Here are some tips to help relieve dry mouth at night:

  • It is strongly recommended that you stay hydrated by consuming water regularly throughout the day, and restrict the consumption of salty foods, particularly in the night.
  • It is recommended to have a glass of water placed next to your bed in the event that you wake up at night with a dry mouth.
  • It is advisable to closely monitor caffeine intake, and adjust accordingly if desired. Caffeine can exacerbate dry mouth symptoms.
  • It is recommended to use a humidifier in your bedroom at night to maintain a comfortable moisture level in the air.
  • It is recommended that you make an effort to breathe through your nose rather than your mouth.
  • Chewing sugar-free gum or candy may be beneficial for oral and dental health.
  • Consult with a dentist about the possibility of using products, such as dry mouth fluoride toothpaste, or saliva-stimulating lozenges to help alleviate symptoms of dry mouth. These products are available over the counter and may also be prescribed by a doctor.
  • It is recommended to avoid using mouthwash that contains alcohol, as it can be drying. For a gentler option, an alcohol-free mouthwash is suggested.
  • It is advisable to refrain from using over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamines or decongestants, as they can reduce the moisture content in your mouth.
  • It is highly recommended to abstain from smoking or chewing tobacco.


What Is Dry Mouth?

The medical term for a lack of saliva in the mouth is xerostomia. This can occur when the salivary glands do not produce enough saliva, a condition referred to as hyposalivation. Dry mouth is a condition that overlaps with, but differs from hyposalivation. A person’s hyposalivation can be objectively measured using the saliva output of his or her mouth, while a person’s dry mouth can be self-reported based on how they feel in their mouths.

Saliva is essential for maintaining good health as it:

  • kills bacteria
  • cleans your mouth
  • helps wash away the food you eat

Dry mouth can lead to:

  • Poor nutrition
  • Dental complications, including gum disease, cavities, and tooth loss
  • Psychological distress, including symptoms of anxiety, stress, or depression.
  • an impaired sense of taste

Dry mouth can be caused by numerous factors, some of which may leave your mouth feeling dry on a persistent basis while others may cause temporary dryness.


What Causes Dry Mouth at Night

Nasal airway obstruction caused by inflammation or blockages can lead to difficulty breathing through the nose or snoring.

  • Chemotherapy
  • Chewing or smoking tobacco
  • Aging
  • Diabetes
  • High intake of caffeine
  • The use of dental appliances, such as retainers or bite splints.
  • Sleep apnea can be treated with the use of CPAP machine
  • Oral thrush
  • Radiation
  • Stroke
  • Nerve damage
  • Trauma to the head or neck resulting from injury or surgical procedure

It is possible that certain medications may contribute to dry mouth during the night, including:

  • Blood pressure medication
  • Decongestants
  • Beta-blockers
  • Anti-hypertensives
  • Anti-anxiety drugs
  • Antihistamines
  • Pain medications
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Diuretics
  • Bronchodilators
  • Antidepressants
  • Antacids


Symptoms of Dry Mouth

Saliva is an essential fluid produced by the salivary glands located at the back of the mouth. It plays an important role in maintaining oral health, as saliva helps to:

  • Clean your mouth
  • Keep your mouth moist
  • Chew
  • Break down food particles
  • Digest food

In order to prevent dry mouth at night, it is important to have enough saliva in your mouth. The lack of saliva causes the following signs and symptoms:

  • Patients may experience dryness or a sticky feeling in their mouths.
  • Thick and stringy spit
  • Bad breath(halitosis)
  • Difficulty chewing, speaking, and swallowing
  • Dry, hoarse, or sore throat
  • Dry or grooved tongue
  • A change in your sense of taste
  • Problems wearing dentures

Severe symptoms may include:

  • Tooth decay
  • Dry eyes and skin
  • Skin rash
  • Joint pain

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