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Why Does My Mouth Get Dry While Sleeping? 7 Causes

Why Does My Mouth Get Dry While Sleeping? 7 Causes

  • 6 min read

If your mouth gets dry while sleeping, you know better than anyone how disruptive it can be. 

There’s nothing more uncomfortable than waking up in the middle of the night because your mouth feels like it’s been hit by a drought. 

Why does this happen? And what can you do to fix it? Before we can understand what causes dry mouth, let’s first take a look at why dry mouth is a serious cause for concern. 

How Dry Mouth Harms Your Health

You may think that your mouth feeling dry from time to time isn’t that big of a deal, but it can actually lead to a slew of costly and inconvenient health conditions you’d likely rather avoid. 

Dry mouth, medically referred to as xerostomia, is typically characterized by decreased saliva production. 

Saliva is important for keeping the mouth clean and moist. Furthermore, saliva helps us chew, break down, and digest the foods we eat. 

Your saliva production also plays a huge role in your oral health. Some common repercussions of untreated dry mouth include: 

  • Increased risk of cavities, since saliva coats and protects the teeth from bacteria
  • Higher chance of gum disease
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Higher risk of respiratory infections
  • Sore throat

With these repercussions in mind, it’s also important to note that pre-existing conditions may be at the root of your dry mouth problem.

For example, an autoimmune disorder is one possible cause of chronic dry mouth that you may not be aware of. 

Cause #1: Autoimmune Disorders

With autoimmune disorders, the body mistakenly recognizes part of itself as a foreign attacker, seeing it as a virus or bacteria instead. The body then fights back, attacking itself in the process. 

Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disorder known for causing dry mouth. With this syndrome, the body attacks tear and saliva glands, leading to sensations of dry mouth. 

As a result, sufferers may experience symptoms such as trouble swallowing, mouth pain, speech challenges, or dryness of the eyes, nose, and throat. 

Medication can help to treat some autoimmune conditions, including Sjogren’s syndrome. Frequent consumption of water and sugar-free gum may also help stimulate the production of saliva in those with this condition.

This leads us to our next potential dry mouth cause: dehydration. 

Cause #2: Dehydration

If you wake up throughout the night with a dry mouth often, the cause may be as simple as not drinking enough water throughout the day.  

Therefore, the easiest treatment for dry mouth at night is to consume more fluids during the day, assuming that your dry mouth symptoms aren’t related to a different cause. 

Dehydration occurs when you consume less water than your body eliminates. If you aren’t drinking enough water or you’re losing more fluids than usual, you’re likely dehydrated. 

In fact, the majority of people are dehydrated and have no clue. Research suggests that as many as 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. 

Up your water intake to see if your dry mouth subsides. The general rule of thumb for daily consumption is to take your body weight in pounds (lbs) and divide it in half. Then, drink that number in ounces each day. 

For instance, if you weigh 150 lbs, aim to drink at least 75 ounces of water per day. 

You may need more water depending on your overall health status, especially if you take certain medications. 

Cause #3: Medication Side Effects

Many of us think that dry mouth becomes more common as we age. However, more people suffer from dry mouth as they age because many begin to take more medications to keep themselves healthy.

Dry mouth is a listed side effect for multiple medications, including both over-the-counter drugs and prescription drugs.

Dry mouth is known to be a side effect of medications used to treat the following: 

  • ADHD
  • Allergies
  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • Bladder conditions
  • Congestion
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Glaucoma
  • High blood pressure
  • Pain
  • Parkinson’s disease

If you currently take medications that fall under any of these categories, talk to your doctor about your chronic dry mouth to find a solution that works for you. 

As always, your diet also plays a huge role in your health. Here’s how your eating habits may cause your mouth to get dry while sleeping.

Cause #4: Your Diet

Believe it or not, what you eat and drink before you go to bed can make or break your sleep. 

Certain foods are known to increase thirst, which contributes to dry mouth symptoms. To illustrate, spicy or salty foods are known to temporarily increase thirst. 

When you eat them before bed, your desire for water can keep you from falling or staying asleep. 

Soy sauce, sugary treats, fried foods, parsley, and asparagus are known to be dehydrating foods, so it’s best to avoid those at night as well.

Alcohol and caffeine also dry out the mouth, so it’s vital to avoid them several hours before bed to keep your mouth from getting dry while sleeping. 

Once you’ve corrected your eating habits to support a moisturized mouth, consider if you’ve experienced any head trauma. 

Cause #5: Injury of the Neck and/or Head

Your salivary glands empty into the mouth through specific ducts to help you swallow, chew, and fight off infections. 

Certain head or neck injuries may cause damage to these glands or the nerves surrounding them. 

If these nerves become damaged, they won’t be able to communicate with the brain to tell the salivary glands to produce more saliva as needed. 

If you’ve experienced trauma to the neck or head, it’s worth getting these nerves and glands checked out. 

You should also rule out diabetes or blood sugar issues, as they cause low saliva production. 

Cause #6: High Blood Sugar/Diabetes

High blood sugar and diabetes are known to cause a decrease in saliva production. 

Diabetes also increases the risk for yeast infections such as thrush due to the elevated glucose levels within the blood and saliva. 

When diabetes is left unchecked, these high glucose levels allow bacteria to grow within the mouth and saliva. 

As dry mouth becomes chronic, mouth sores may develop. This is a huge concern for those with diabetes, as the condition is associated with decreased ability to heal wounds. 

If you suffer from high blood sugar or diabetes, stay on top of your treatment plan to keep blood sugar levels in check. 

Still haven’t found a potential cause for your chronic dry mouth? The way you breathe is likely to blame.

Cause #7: Mouth Breathing

If your mouth dries out often at night, the best dry mouth treatment may be to simply alter the way you take in oxygen. 

If you breathe through your mouth rather than your nose, you are causing saliva to unnecessarily evaporate, Furthermore, mouth breathing may lead to sleep apnea, snoring, cardiovascular problems, and more.

 

@somnifix

How do you breathe ⁉️ #mouthbreathing #breathwork #badbreath #sleepapnea #snoring #learnontiktok #mewing via @Stephanie Cabrera

♬ Do It To It - ACRAZE

 

This is because we weren’t intended to breathe through our mouths habitually – humans were designed to breathe through our noses instead. 

The nose produces nitric oxide, a wondrous molecule known for activating the parasympathetic nervous system, decreasing stress, improving blood flow, and lowering blood pressure. 

Additionally, the nose warms, humidifies, and filters the air we breathe. The mouth does not. 

If you breathe through your mouth often, make the switch to nasal breathing during both day and night. 

You can use mouth tape to ensure that you breathe properly through the nose as you sleep. 

The Solution: Tape Your Mouth Shut

The simplest treatment for dry mouth at night? Mouth tape. 

As you sleep, you can’t pay attention to your breath. Mouth tape makes nasal breathing during sleep a possibility since it allows wearers to maintain a proper lip seal. 

This makes it virtually impossible to snore, which dries out the mouth. Furthermore, sleep apnea sufferers can use mouth tape to prevent mouth leaks, ditch pesky chin straps, and potentially switch to a more comfortable type of CPAP mask. 

SomniFix Mouth Strips are made from a hypoallergenic material suitable for all skin types. Our strips feature a gel-like adhesive that’s so comfortable to wear, you won’t even notice you have it on. 

Say goodbye to dry mouth for good and hello to uninterrupted sleep with SomniFix!

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