Are you waking up with dry mouth? Dry mouth is a common condition, and for many people, it frequently occurs during sleep. Dry mouth happens when the glands that produce saliva do not produce enough saliva to hydrate the mouth. Dry mouth can be an annoyance, but moreover, it can have negative effects on your oral health. Dr. Caracioni often talks to patients about their dry mouth symptoms to find effective treatments and to also find out if other underlying symptoms may indicate a more serious health problem.
Saliva is an important part of the mouth. It lubricates the mouth to allow you to speak easily, and chew and swallow your food. Saliva is also important at the start of digestion, helping to break down the food we eat. It also serves to neutralize acids and bacteria in the mouth that cause tooth decay, enamel erosion, and periodontal disease.
Symptoms of dry mouth include waking up with a sore throat, very bad breath, dry and cracked lips and tongue, and the frequent feeling that the mouth is dry. Dry mouth can make you uncomfortable and impact social situations, sleep, speaking, and eating.
One cause of dry mouth overnight is breathing through your mouth and snoring. Some individuals breath through their mouths at night or snore because of allergies, sinus congestion, deviated septum, or sleep apnea. Patients with sleep apnea experience dry mouth at a high rate as a result of using a continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machine, that forces air into the mouth in order to keep the tissues of the throat from collapsing.
Dry mouth can also happen at night as are a result of central air conditioning or heating systems or living in a dry environment. Patients experiencing dry mouth at night because of living in a dry environment can increase humidity in their home by using cool mist humidifiers. For patients that are mouth breathers because of nasal congestion, nasal strips to hold the nasal passages open help- but patients should avoid decongestants because they dry out the mouth.
Patients should drink water throughout the day in order to stay hydrated, and take care to avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages because they also cause dehydration.
Avoiding tobacco products will also help keep the mouth hydrated and healthy.
Are you experiencing dry mouth? Talk it over with Dr. Caracioni and schedule a consultation by calling 785.783.0741.