People wake up from time to time with wine. But if your mouth feels as dry as the Sahara desert every morning, you may be dealing with dry mouth (also known as xerostomia).
According to the Cleveland Clinic, dry mouth occurs when you don’t secrete enough saliva. But lack of saliva is often a symptom or side effect of another health problem.
Here, periodontal and microbiologist Frank A. Scannapieco, DMD, Ph.D., chair of oral biology at the University of Buffalo School of Dentistry, will help you learn what causes dry mouth in the morning and what to do with it.
You are dehydrated.
Often, a dry mouth is a sign that your entire body needs more fluid.
Dr. Scannapieco says: “When you’re dehydrated, you won’t have enough fluid to produce saliva, which is made up almost entirely of water. (Saliva is 99 percent H2O.)
If you don’t drink enough throughout the day, you may face a dry mouth, dehydration in the morning.
You breathe through your mouth.
Do you often wake up with your mouth wide open? This can make your mouth dessert.
Dr. Scannapieco said: “If you sleep with your mouth, the mouth tissue will dry out, especially those closest to your lips.
Breathing through the mouth is especially common when you are choking. Asphyxiation makes it difficult for you to breathe through your nostrils, so you compensate by breathing through your mouth.
You may have sleep apnea.
If you’re a chronic snorer, waking up with a dry mouth every day, you may be living with sleep apnea, a sleep disorder characterized by abnormal breathing during sleep.
According to the Mayo Clinic, people with this syndrome may have interrupted breathing, gasps, and snoring loudly. These problems often lead to breathing through the mouth, as we know, which can lead to dry mouth.
Other symptoms include insomnia, headaches in the morning, drowsiness during the day, limited attention, and irritability, according to the Mayo Clinic.
You’re taking some medications.
Some medications can affect your mouth and reduce saliva flow.
Dr. Scannapieco said: “Many drugs can act on the central nervous system or on the excretion cells of the salivary glands to reduce salivation. He said: “The drugs used to treat depression and an overactive bladder, along with other pathologies, can lead to dry mouth.
According to the Mayo Clinic, some antihistamines, demonstrations, muscle relaxants, and painkillers can also cause dry mouth as a side effect.
Because we are more likely to take more medications as we get older, there is a greater risk of dry mouth as we get older. In fact, one in five older adults has xerostomia, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
You have another underlying health condition.
In addition to sleep apnea, there are some more serious health problems that may be to blame.
For example, some autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome, show an effect on the salivary glands, Dr. Scannapieco said.
According to the Mayo Clinic, diabetes, stroke, oral fungal infections (or thyme) and Alzheimer’s disease have also been linked to dry mouth.
You drink alcohol or caffeine at the end of the day.
Coffee and cocktails at the end of the day can be the culprits that cause you to dry your throat. That’s because caffeine and alcohol can cause mild dehydration, which can lead to dry mouth, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
How to prevent dry mouth while sleeping
While it’s impossible to limit all the causes of dry mouth, you can control (and even prevent) some of them. Here’s how to do it:
1. Talk to your doctor
The first line of defense against dry mouth is to identify any underlying problems. And if your medication is the cause, your doctor may adjust the dosage or prescribe another drug that doesn’t cause dry mouth, according to the Mayo Clinic.
2. Drink plenty of water
Eight glasses of H2O a day is a reasonable standard for staying hydrated, although drinking when you’re thirsty and checking for pale yellow urine is also a trick. Dr. Scannapieco says to leave a bottle of water nearby – as on the nightstand – for ease of retrieval.
3. Chew on the rock
This is another way to fill up with water. Plus, chewing movement helps stimulate salivation, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
4. Use a Humidifier
Placing a humidifier in your bedroom will add moisture to the air and can help prevent dry mouth at night (especially if you’re someone who likes to breathe through the mouth), according to the Cleveland Clinic.
5. Avoid alcoholic beverages and caffeine
These drinks can dehydrate and can worsen dry mouth.
6. Try moisturizing products for your mouth
Dr. Scannapieco says: “Artificial saliva can lubricate your mouth and improve comfort. These sprays, gels, washes, and tablets are available at pharmacies and online retailers such as Amazon.
7. Take Saliva Secretion Stimulants
“If there are active salivary glands, saliva-stimulating drugs like pilocarpine may help,” Scannapieco said. Your doctor will discuss any prescribing options that may be right for you.
8. Priority for oral hygiene
According to the Cleveland Clinic, people with dry mouth are more susceptible to tooth decay and cavities, so proper oral hygiene habits are essential.
Floss (or use an interdental toothbrush) regularly and brush twice daily (once before bed) with fluoride toothpaste, Dr. Scannapieco says.
Also, rinse your mouth with a mouthwash with fluoride, he said. In fact, some mouthwashes (like those with xylitol) are produced specifically for people with dry mouths, so ask your dentist for more information.
Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol or peroxide, which can worsen your dry mouth.