How To Prevent Dry Mouth While Sleeping
Dry mouth, also called xerostomia, can make regular activities like talking and swallowing difficult. Many people wake up in the middle of the night as they experience symptoms of dry mouth while sleeping. Xerostomia is a health condition that is characterized by decreased salivation. Many factors affect salivary glands and reduce their capacity for saliva production, leading to dry mouth.
Why is SalivaImportant?
Having a dry mouth in the day and at night can be distressing. Saliva is an essential fluid that keeps our mouth and its contents healthy and functional. The saliva is produced by the salivary glands and helps:
- Kill bacteria
- Cleanses your mouth
- Aids digestion
- Allows you to talk
- Facilitates chewing and swallowing
Poor salivary flow can lead to dry mouth and its associated symptoms. For example, if you have a dry mouth at night and wake up with bad breath in the morning, it indicates bacterial growth in your mouth, which increases your risk of developing cavities.
Symptoms of Dry Mouth
If you have a dry mouth while sleeping, you are not alone! Many people wake up with a dry throat at night and tend to keep water next to them. Apart from having a dry mouth while sleeping, some other symptoms of dry mouth that you are likely to experience include:
- Sticky, thick, stringy saliva
- Dryness in the mouth
- Bad breath
- Difficulty in talking
- Dry throat and hoarseness of voice
- Dry tongue
- Change in taste
- Difficulty in wearing dentures
What Causes Dry Mouth at Night?
Dry mouth at night is very common in individuals, especially in those over 65 years of age. The main reason for this is that as we grow old, our saliva production reduces. However, there are many reasons for your dry mouth while sleeping or why you wake up with a dry mouth each morning:
- Medications: Around 60% of the prescribed medicines for routine ailments like blood pressure, anxiety, etc., have dry mouth as a side-effect. Some of these medicine groups include blood pressure medications, antihistamines, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety drugs.
- Nerve damage
- Recreational use of drugs
- Tobacco consumption
- Alcohol intake
What If You Ignore Dry Mouth Condition at Night?
If you wish to ignore your dry mouth condition at night, here are some complications that you are likely to experience:
- Increased deposits of plaque and calculus around your teeth
- Sores in your mouth
- Susceptibility to yeast infections in the mouth
- Cracking at the corners of your lips
- Cracked lips
- Poor nutrition due to difficulty in chewing and swallowing
Management of Dry Mouth at Night
If you or someone you know is suffering from a dry mouth at night, it is recommended to visit a dentist immediately. Living with a dry mouth condition is highly uncomfortable, but the good news is that your dentist can relieve your symptoms. In addition, there are a few homemade remedies for dry mouth at night, which you can try as well!
Some practical ways to manage dry mouth at night:
- Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. It is recommended to keep a glass of water next to you at night.
- Use a fluoridated toothpaste
- Use a dry mouth oral rinse prescribed by your dentist.
- Quit smoking and limit recreational use of drugs
- Limit or avoid alcohol intake
- Avoid taking over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants without consulting with your dentist and doctor.
Medical management of dry mouth includes:
- Identifying and treating the cause of your dry mouth
- Alcohol-free mouthwash
- Dry mouth toothpaste containing fluoride
- Useofsaliva-stimulating candies andlozenges
When Should You Visit Your Dentist?
If you are suffering from a dry mouth at night or throughout the day, you must visit your dentist immediately. With medication and lifestyle changes, dry mouth condition is easily manageable. Your dentist will also investigate if the cause of your dry mouth needs further treatment. Visit your dentist today at Belle32 Dental Clinic to evaluate if you have one or more dry mouth symptoms.