It happens to all of us at some point in our lives: waking up with a dry mouth. If it’s happening to you, you may take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. But, if it’s happening regularly, it may be a cause of concern and something to discuss with Dr. van Zyl at your next appointment.
What Causes Dry Mouth at Night?
There are a few different reasons you could be waking up parched after a night of sleep. One of those reasons is age, as dry mouth is very common in people over the age of 60. What’s the connection between age and dry mouth? As we age, saliva production slows down by nearly 40 percent.
Other causes of dry mouth at night can include the use of certain medications, including blood pressure drugs, allergy medications and antihistamines, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety drugs.
Additional causes of dry mouth include diabetes, chemotherapy and radiation, neuropathy, recreational drug use, and some autoimmune diseases such as Sjogren’s syndrome.
But, the most common cause of nighttime dry mouth is mouth breathing during sleep. In some cases, the cause of mouth breathing is sinus congestion, the common cold or other viral illness or allergies. In some cases, mouth breathing happens because of obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, a severe sleep and breathing disorder that has been linked to chronic and potentially life-threatening health conditions.
If you’re waking up with a dry mouth, feeling tired after a “good night’s sleep,” struggling with brain fog and lack of focus, experiencing headaches and moodiness, you may be living with undiagnosed sleep apnea.
Ways to Prevent Dry Mouth
If you’re experiencing dry mouth here and there, here’s a few ways you can get relief:
- Drink more water
- Talk to Dr. van Zyl about mouth rinses designed to relieve dry mouth symptoms
- Limit alcohol and caffeine consumption
- Reduce consumption of spicy food
- Stop smoking and using tobacco
If your dry mouth happens more often than not, it’s time to talk to Dr. van Zyl.
Is Dry Mouth All That Serious?
Dry mouth may be annoying, but is it dangerous? Actually, yes, it is! The lack of saliva in your mouth can make speaking, eating and food digestion difficult. Saliva also plays a vital role in remineralizing your teeth against the bacteria that cause tooth decay and foods and drinks that cause acid erosion.
Give us a call at 479-337-4070 to talk about your dry mouth and how we can help.