Waking up in the middle of the night with a parched mouth is uncomfortable, but dry mouth can also affect your health. Learn common causes of dry mouth and tips to prevent it while sleeping.
What are the Causes of Dry Mouth While Sleeping?
Dry mouth happens when your mouth does not have saliva. While it’s not strictly a nighttime condition, many sufferers feel worse at night. Mouth breathing is often the reason, as this tends to dry out the mouth, aggravating an already unpleasant sensation.
Dry mouth is more of a symptom than a condition, and it can be caused by aging, smoking, medication use, or health conditions. If you suffer from a chronic condition like diabetes, you may have dry mouth. If you’re undergoing radiation treatment, dry mouth can be a side effect.
Not sure whether you have dry mouth? Its symptoms include sticky mouth, chapped lips, a tingling or burning sensation, and thirst. When your mouth lacks saliva, you may experience difficulty speaking, swallowing, or tasting your food. Suffice to say, if you have dry mouth, then you definitely know it!
How Dry Mouth Affects Your Oral Health
So dry mouth is unpleasant, especially if it’s waking you up from a sound sleep. But can it impact your health? The short answer is, yes.
Dry mouth can actually lead to gum disease or tooth decay over the lack of saliva. Remember that saliva washes the bad bacteria out of your mouth to protect your teeth and gums. When you lack saliva, then the bacteria stays in contact with your teeth, causing damage. Dry mouth is the leading cause of tooth decay in almost one-third of older adults.
How to Prevent Dry Mouth
If you can retrain yourself to breathe through your nose, you will greatly lessen the discomfort from dry mouth.
While you can’t always take action against the causes of dry mouth, you may be able to switch to a different medication that doesn’t cause dry mouth. If you smoke, then quitting smoking will improve your mouth’s moisture as well.
Other behavioral modifications include changing your diet. Acidic foods (like pineapple) and tannic foods (like wine) naturally dry out the mouth, so by avoiding these foods you can reduce your discomfort.
Make your bedroom more comfortable: Use a humidifier to moisten the air you’re breathing in and keep a water bottle by the bed to relieve dry mouth that wakes you up.
Look for mouthwash and toothpaste designed for dry mouth, which moisten the mouths.
Last but not least, speak with our husband and wife dentist team at Weninger Dentistry. We can clean your teeth to promote gum and tooth health. We can also prescribe an artificial saliva product, which will promote good oral health and alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms of dry mouth.
Weninger Dentistry offers personalized dental care to protect your long-term oral health. To reserve an appointment, just visit us online!