Dry mouth also known as xerostomia is a medical condition, when the salivary glands can’t produce enough saliva to keep the mouth wet. Dry mouth at night is common, but if you experience it frequently then you should get tested and treated. Not producing enough saliva can result to different health issues. Naturally the saliva helps to prevent tooth decay and gums recession by neutralizing the acids produced by bacteria. It prevents bacteria and plaque buildups, by washing away food particles from the mouth. The saliva also plays a significant role in digestion. It contains enzymes that aid in digestion, it also enhances our ability to chew and taste foods.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration stated that, you will have increased chance of developing cavities, difficulty swallowing, infection and bad breath if your mouth is always dry at night. Dry mouth at night is really uncomfortable, it can disturb your sleep and even affect your oral health negatively. Dry mouth is mostly caused by aging or as a side effect to certain medications. Constant dry mouth at night, affects your oral health without you knowing it. It can lead to different oral issues such as tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, teeth sensitivity and many others.
What it means to have Dry mouth at night?
If you usually wake up at night to drink water because your mouth feels dry, just know that you are suffering from dry mouth. You shouldn’t make the mistake of seeing your nightly dry mouth as no big deal. According to verywellhealth the human body has the ability to go for 8 hours or even longer without interrupting sleep for drinking or eating. Dry mouth can interrupt your sleep, especially at night. You’ll wake up to notice that your tongue or throat feels as dry as a bone. However, there are other health issues that can bring this disorders to light.
Symptoms of dry mouth at night :
When your salivary glands can’t produce enough saliva at night, you can experience these signs and symptoms. Persistent dry mouth isn’t really a good thing, you shouldn’t hesitate to talk to your doctor about it. This are some of the symptoms :
- Frequent sleep interruption, waking up in the middle of night to drink water.
- Dry lips, sore throat and hoarseness in the morning.
- Thick, stringy or foamy saliva in the morning.
- Waking up with dryness or a feeling of stickiness in your mouth.
- Constant occurrence of sore throat.
- Burning or cracked tongue.
- Bad breath plus thick, stringy or foamy saliva in the morning.
- Snoring : it’s also believed that dry mouth at night can make you to snore. Although, the possibility of it to cause more disturbed breathing in sleep hasn’t been fully proved.
Causes of dry mouth at night
- Mouth-breathing : breathing through your mouth while asleep is the most common cause of dry mouth at night. Nasal obstruction while sleeping can force you to start breathing through your mouth only. Things like chronic sinusitis, maxillary antrolith, or a deviated nasal septum can result to nasal obstruction. A few changes in lifestyle and remedies can help prevent nasal blockage at night.
- Old age : according to studies, people that are above 65 years of age are more likely to have dry mouth. As we age the amount of saliva that we produce is being reduced gradually. There are lots of factors that can contribute to the reduction in saliva production as we age. Long-term health problems, certain medications and inadequate nutrition can all result to drastic reduction in saliva production. It’s advisable that you visit your doctor, he can recommend some foods that can boost the production of saliva in your mouth.
- Medication : there are numerous medications that can contribute to dry mouth, a review of your medication list with the help of your doctor can help you to identify any potential culprits. Many people experience dryness in their mouth, after taking medications that may be prescribed for treating high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, swelling or heart failure. Taking sleeping pills that contain diphenhydramine can also lead to mouth dryness at night. If you started to experience symptoms of dryness after taking a particular medication or after an increase in dosage, you should contact your doctor or pharmacist.
- Medical condition : certain health problems can cause mouth dryness. Medical conditions such as diabetes, stroke, mouth infections, Sjogren’s syndrome, HIV/Aids, lupus, and sicca syndrome can all cause dry mouth. Apart from this health problems the use of methamphetamine, excess alcohol and marijuana can cause severe mouth dryness and damages to teeth.
- Nerve damage : according to mayoclinic many people experience mouth dryness after sustaining an injury on the head or neck. Any injury or surgery that causes nerve damage to the nerves around the area of your head or neck can result to mouth dryness.
Waking up with dry mouth at night is indeed an unpleasant experience. However, there are numerous natural remedies and treatments available for treating dry mouth at night. The treatments can vary depending on the underlying cause of the dryness.
If your dry mouth is caused by medications, home remedies might not be helpful. You should talk to your doctor, he can help you switch to the right medications or adjust dosage if necessary. The best way to get rid of mouth dryness at night is by taking foods or medications that promotes the production of saliva. Until then, always keep a glass of water next to your bed at night in case you wake up and notice that your mouth is dry.