Dry Mouth During Sleep? Do This To Prevent It
If you have experienced dry mouth, especially dry mouth during sleep, then you know how uncomfortable this condition can be. Also known as xerostomia, dry mouth is characterized by a lack of saliva in the mouth. People with dry mouth often feel parched or thirsty. They also may notice a sticky mouth, chapped lips or bad breath. The best way to help avoid this common condition is to understand the causes of dry mouth and what you can do to control it.
What Causes Dry Mouth at Night?
One of the most frequently asked questions we get from patients is, “What causes dry mouth while sleeping?” There are numerous causes. During the night, sleeping with your mouth open or snoring can contribute to a lack of saliva in the mouth. A majority of people also suffer from dry mouth as a side effect of certain medications. In fact, the American Dental Association (ADA) states that more than 400 over-the-counter and prescription medications can contribute to dry mouth.
Other causes of xerostomia include lifestyle habits, such as tobacco use, or undergoing medical treatment such as radiation.
Dry Mouth’s Impact on Oral Health
Not only is dry mouth an annoyance, it also can have negative effects on your oral health when it becomes a chronic condition. Saliva plays an important role in the digestion of food, and it helps cleanse your mouth from harmful debris and bacteria. But without sufficient saliva flow, teeth become increasingly more susceptible to plaque and decay.
Saliva is vital to your oral health — even when you are sleeping. If you notice your mouth is dry every night, then it probably isn’t producing sufficient saliva. Inadequate saliva flow at night can lead to bacterial growth, bad breath upon waking and even increased risks for decay or infection.
How to Avoid Dry Mouth
Remember, whatever the cause, dry mouth can have adverse effects on your oral health and even your quality of sleep. Whether you’re experiencing occasional dry mouth during the day or severe dry mouth at night, we recommend seeing your dentist. Your dentist can help you discover the underlying cause of your dry mouth symptoms and provide options for managing and treating it.
In the meantime, you can help alleviate discomfort caused by dry mouth by making a few changes to your daily habits. Reduce your caffeine intake, and cut back on smoking and drinking. Because dry mouth makes you more susceptible to decay, it also may be helpful to avoid sugary or acidic foods and beverages that greatly increase your risk for cavities. Drink plenty of water during the day to stay hydrated, and keep water by your bed at night if your dry mouth is uncomfortable.
If you have questions about dry mouth or would like to request an appointment, contact our office today!