If you experience dry mouth when you sleep, then you aren’t alone. The estimates aren’t exact, but there are easily millions of people that are experiencing dry mouth each year. If you are one of these people, then you know the night is usually the worst. It is an uncomfortable experience waking up feeling like you are parched. Not only is it annoying, but continual dry mouth can actually lead to gum disease and tooth decay. So if you do suffer from this, here is some information that could help give you relief.
Causes and Symptoms
The first thing you need to know is that saliva is a normal part of the digestive process and system. It helps rinse and break down foods. Dry mouth, which is officially called Xerostomia, is the lack of saliva. Without saliva, it can be tough to chew, taste, or even swallow and speak. You might be surprised by how much saliva helps your mouth do just about everything. The problem is that without saliva, bacteria will cling to your teeth and that will cause tooth decay or even gum disease. This is how dry mouth can lead to tooth decay and tooth loss.
Something that many people don’t know is that dry mouth isn’t actually a disease, it is a symptom of something else. It could be caused by smoking, medication, radiation, aging, or a disease like diabetes. The symptoms that most people experience with dry mouth is feeling thirsty, chapped lips, tingling in their mouth, and obviously… a dry mouth.
Preventing dry mouth
Why is dry mouth usually worse at night? Normally because of your breathing, especially if you breath with your mouth. The best cure for dry mouth is to fix the underlying health issue. But there are some things you can do to help in the meantime!
- Drink water during the day. Staying hydrated is always important, and even more so if you have dry mouth.
- Chewing sugar-free gum can help increase the flow of saliva in your mouth.
- Use a toothpaste with fluoride in it.
- Take an artificial saliva product, which can either be over-the-counter or prescribed by a dentist.
- Avoid spicy foods which can make dry mouth worse.
- Stop smoking if you currently do.
- Talk to your doctor or dentist if you are breathing with your mouth and not your nose at night. There are things that we can do to help.
- If you are taking medication, talk to your doctor about having it changed.
- Keep a humidifier in your room to increase the moisture in the air.
- Leave a glass of water next to your bed in-case you wake up parched.
There are other steps you can take but talk to your dentist if these don’t help. Your dentist can give suggestions and will help to prevent dry mouth as much as possible. The key to fixing many health issues is not to ignore them.