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What Causes Dry Mouth When Waking Up?

  • By Team AVISA
  • May 15, 2024

Dry mouth upon waking up, also known as “morning mouth,” is a common phenomenon that can be attributed to several factors. These include:

1. Reduced Saliva Production During Sleep: Saliva flow naturally decreases when you’re sleeping. Reduced swallowing and the absence of food and drink intake can cause your mouth to feel drier when you wake up in the morning.

2. Breathing Through the Mouth: Breathing through your mouth while sleeping can contribute to dryness, which is often associated with nasal congestion or other respiratory issues.

3. Dehydration: Overnight, your body can become mildly dehydrated, especially if you haven’t consumed water for an extended period. Dehydration can lead to reduced saliva production and a dry mouth upon waking.

4. Sleeping with an Open Mouth: Some people naturally sleep with their mouths open, allowing air to pass over the mouth’s surface and contribute to dryness. This is usually accompanied by cracked or “crusty” lips upon waking.

5. Medications: If you take medications that cause dry mouth as a side effect, the impact may be more noticeable when you wake up after a night of reduced saliva production. Some of these medications include anticholinergics, antidepressants, and commonly prescribed mood stabilizers

6. Underlying Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as sleep apnea or Sjögren’s syndrome, can be associated with dry mouth and may be more noticeable in the morning. With Sjögren’s syndrome, in particular, your mouth will have a chalky taste that makes it hard to swallow or taste your food properly.

Despite all of these causes, simple lifestyle changes can help you sleep and wake up without a dry mouth. In the next section, we will discuss these in depth.

How To Stop Waking Up With A Dry Mouth

If you frequently wake up with a dry mouth, there are several strategies you can try to alleviate this condition. Here are some tips:

1. Stay Hydrated: Drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day, and only cut off drinks between 1 to 2 hours before bedtime. Proper hydration can help maintain saliva production.

2. Use a Humidifier: If the air in your bedroom is dry, consider using a humidifier. This can add moisture to the air and prevent your mouth from becoming excessively dry during the night.

3. Practice Good Oral Hygiene: Brush your teeth, gums, and tongue before bedtime. Use fluoride toothpaste, and consider using an alcohol-free mouthwash. Good oral hygiene can help maintain a healthy oral environment.

4. Avoid Mouth-Breathing: If you tend to breathe through your mouth while sleeping, it can contribute to dryness. Address any nasal congestion or allergies that may be causing mouth-breathing. Although only anecdotal, most people have reported benefits of mouth taping when sleeping.

5. Limit Caffeine and Alcohol Before Bed: Both caffeine and alcohol can contribute to dehydration. Try to limit their consumption, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime.

6. Avoid Spicy or Acidic Foods: These food items can sometimes exacerbate dry mouth by causing a burning or tingling sensation. By avoiding these foods, you can reduce the likelihood of triggering additional dryness or discomfort.

7. Chew Sugar-Free Gum or Suck on Sugar-Free Candy: Chewing gum or sucking on sugar-free candy can stimulate saliva production and help keep your mouth moist.

8. Evaluate Medications: If you suspect that medications may be contributing to your dry mouth, discuss this with your healthcare provider. They may be able to adjust your dosage or recommend an alternative medication that does not leave you with a dry mouth.

9. Treat Underlying Medical Conditions: If dry mouth is associated with an underlying medical condition, such as Sjögren’s syndrome or sleep apnea, addressing the primary condition may help alleviate dry mouth symptoms.

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