What to Do If You're Waking Up with Dry Mouth

Do you feel dehydrated with your mouth dry and sticky when you wake up in the morning? Waking up with dry mouth can cause several issues. It is difficult to chew or swallow your food when your mouth is dry. Similarly, you may have to deal with tooth decay due to dry mouth. When left untreated, it can also cause bad breath. To prevent these issues, you need to understand the underlying causes of it.

Waking Up with Dry Mouth, Why?

Dry mouth is a rather common issue affecting a large majority of people. It may be quite mild and be more like a nuisance, but it can sometimes be quite annoying and even have an impact on your general health. There are a number of reasons why you keep waking up with your mouth dry. For instance:

  • Most commonly, sleeping with your mouth open could lead to a dry mouth in the morning. It is more so if your room is dry. Conditions like common cold and allergies could also be the cause.
  • It could be a side effect of certain medications. Many prescription and non-prescription drugs have several side effects, and dry mouth is one of them. This usually happens when you take drugs used to treat anxiety, depression, allergies, pain, and colds. Diuretics used to treat epilepsy, acne, obesity, and hypertension may also cause this condition. Certain bronchodilators, muscle relaxants, and sedatives may also contribute to dry mouth.
  • Symptom of certain infections and diseases. Medical conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Sjogren's syndrome, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, cystic fibrosis, anemia, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, mumps, and Parkinson's disease can all make you wake up with dry mouth.
  • You may also experience your mouth become dry when receiving certain medical treatments. Treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, and other treatments can damage salivary glands and lead to dry mouth.
  • What's more, you may keep waking up with dry mouth due to nerve damage to the neck or head area, dehydration, surgical removal of salivary glands, and smoking.

Should I Worry?

You need to talk to your doctor and get a treatment because dry mouth increases your risk of gum disease, mouth infections, and tooth decay. You may also find it difficult to wear dentures.

What to Do about Dry Mouth in the Morning

Waking up with dry mouth is always quite annoying, but you can take certain steps to make things more manageable. It is important to first identify the underlying cause before selecting a treatment option. Your doctor may decide to:

  • Change your medications if they think some of them are causing dry mouth. They may even consider adjusting your dosage to fix the issue.
  • Recommend products to help keep your mouth wet. The options include OTC and prescription mouth rinses, moisturizers, and artificial saliva to lubricate your mouth.

Your doctor may adopt a different approach if you have severe dry mouth. For instance:

  • They may prescribe medications to help stimulate saliva. This may include medications such as cevimeline or pilocarpine.
  • They may consider fitting fluoride trays to prevent cavities and tooth decay. You need to wear these trays for a few minutes before you go to bed at night. The use of a chlorhexidine rinse may also help prevent cavities.

Along with following the advice from your doctor, you can also take following steps to get relief from waking up with dry mouth:

  • Sip water, suck ice chips, or drink sugar-free beverages throughout the day to avoid dry mouth.
  • Consider sucking on sugar-free hard candies. Chewing sugar-free gum may also help. Avoid consuming in large amounts because these gums contain xylitol that can cause diarrhea.
  • Avoid breathing through your mouth; instead, inhale through your nose to prevent dry mouth.
  • Install a humidifier in your room to add moisture to the air.
  • Brush your teeth regularly using fluoride toothpaste.
  • Use brush-on fluoride gel or a fluoride rinse before bedtime.
  • Use alcohol-free mouthwash after meals.

At the same time, you need to avoid products that can aggravate your condition. For instance:

  • Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages because they promote irritation and dryness. Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol.
  • Quit smoking and do not chew tobacco.
  • Limit your use of OTC decongestants and antihistamines.
  • Avoid sugary candies and acidic foods to lower the risk of tooth decay.

What's more, you can also try some natural remedies to avoid waking up with dry mouth. For instance:

  • Oil pulling: The technique helps keep your mouth moist and promotes better oral health. You can use sesame oil, coconut oil, or any other vegetable oil for this purpose. Simply put a tablespoon of oil in your mouth, swish it well for 15 minutes and spit it out. Finish by rinsing your mouth with warm water.
  • Slippery Elm: It works because it contains mucilage. Mix it in water and you will have a slick gel. You can use it to soothe your mouth. Alternatively, you can add a couple of tablespoons of slippery elm to a cup of hot water and let it steep for 10 minutes. Strain it and add some honey. Drink it twice a day for relief.
  • What's more, you may want to increase your intake of fruits that are tart or sour such as lime, lemon, cranberry, or grapefruit. You can simply eat these fruits or suck on a piece of fruit before a meal. This will make your mouth pucker and help make swallowing easier. Be sure to talk to your doctor before going this route. 
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