Dry mouth is a typical condition in much of the population, and many times it occurs overnight. If the salivary glands do not produce enough moisture to keep the mouth wet, then dry mouth occurs. Salivia is important for oral health as it keeps away bacteria and fungus that can cause mouth diseases and infections, like tooth decay, gum disease, and thrush. Dry mouth can also prevent proper digestion.
Symptoms of dry mouth at night
There are a few ways to help you determine if you have dry mouth at night. These symptoms include:
- Habitually waking up in the middle of the night due to extreme thirst
- Waking up in the morning with a dry mouth
- Dry lips and throat in the morning
- Thick, foamy or stringy saliva in the morning
- A perpetual sore throat
- Burning or cracked tongue
- Bad breath
Mouth breathing is usually to blame for dry mouth at night, but there can also be other causes. Medications could be causing you to have dry mouth, so consult with your doctor to learn more about the side effects of your medications. If your salivary glands have been damaged from injury or medical treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation, you can explore other treatments from your doctor.
Causes of dry mouth at night
If you think you have dry mouth at night, see if it can be caused by any of the following:
- Use of a bite splint, dental retainers, or other oral appliances
- Wearing a CPAP mask for sleep apnea
- Snoring because of an allergy or cold, which causes mouth breathing
- Breathing difficulties, like a blocked nasal passage because of chronic sinusitis, maxillary antrolith, or a deviated septum
A dry atmosphere while you sleep can aggravate any current issues that might cause dry mouth. Heating during the winter and air conditioning in the summer can dry out the air while you sleep, causing your dry mouth at night.
Home remedies for dry mouth at night
Addressing underlying causes can help your dry mouth at night, but other antidotes and lifestyle changes can help relieve pain from dry mouth.
- Use a humidifier while sleeping to keep the air you’re breathing moist
- Try using nasal strips to help you breathe through your nose
- Make dietary changes by avoiding foods that can make dry mouth worse. These foods include spicy foods, sugary foods, and acidic foods and drinks.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine, especially at night. These can serve as a laxative which makes dry mouth worse.
- Stop tobacco use. This includes smoking and chewing tobacco.
- Focus on oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth twice a day or more, especially before bedtime can help with dry mouth. You should also brush after meals and floss daily. Using a toothpaste and mouthwash with fluoride can also keep your mouth wet.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and avoiding any sugary or acidic drinks.
- Suck on sugar free candy or lozenges and chew sugar free gum to stimulate the salivary glands to prevent dry mouth.