Everyone has an occasional bout of dry mouth at night. However, persistent dry mouth can make eating or speaking quite uncomfortable. Additionally, according to the National Institute of Health, the condition could be a sign of other health problems. Untreated, chronically dry mouth can lead to other health problems, such as tooth decay, gum disease, or oral thrush, according to the Mayo Clinic.
What causes dry mouth at night?
There are numerous reasons why you may not have enough saliva. For many people, the problem is that they don’t drink enough water, says Matt Messina, DDS, a Cleveland-based dentist.
“The average American is dehydrated to some degree, which can lead to or worsen dry mouth,”
Other causes include smoking, aging, and prescription drugs, he says. In fact, more than six hundred drugs can cause dry mouth, including prescriptions for treating high blood pressure, depression, and bladder control problems. You may experience a dry mouth at night if you take your medication in the evening Medical news today.
In some cases, underlying diseases such as HIV / AIDs or diabetes can affect saliva production.
Dry mouth can be especially bad at night for people who breathe through their mouths when they sleep. Mouth breathing generally occurs when you have sinus problems or nasal septum problems, respiratory infections, or sleep apnea.
What are dry mouth symptoms?
Obviously, you will experience that “cotton mouth” feeling. But there are other symptoms as well. According to the NIH, these include:
- Stickiness in the mouth
- Problems chewing, swallowing, or speaking
- Broken, dry lips
- Bad breath
How do you treat dry mouth?
As with most health problems, the right treatment will depend on the cause of your condition. For example, if a prescription changes saliva production, you should speak to your doctor about adjusting the dosage. If sleep apnea is the cause of dry mouth, you should work with a doctor to manage the condition.
Dr. Messina recommends increasing your water intake as a first step – especially when drinking alcohol, which can also lead to dry mouth.
Other simple solutions include chewing sugar-free gum, as well as cutting out tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine. Sleeping with a humidifier will increase the humidity in your room, which can help relieve dry mouth.
If nothing works, it’s time to talk to your dentist about an over-the-counter or prescription treatment like artificial saliva, says Jeff Burgess, DDS, former clinical assistant professor at the University of Washington’s School of Dental Medicine.
“The best treatment really depends on the individual,” said Dr. Burgess before Men health. “If dry mouth bothers you, see someone about it.”
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