How to prevent waking up with a dry mouth
Why are you waking up with a dry mouth in the morning? This unpleasant sensation is caused by a lack of saliva and can make swallowing, talking and breathing an uphill battle – until you’ve had that first refreshing sip of water.
Let’s see what’s causing your parched mouth and what you can do about it.
What causes dry mouth in the morning?
Dry mouth can be caused by several lifestyle habits and medical conditions, which may all need to be treated separately. The most common causes all lead to a slow down in the production of saliva in the mouth.
This is a classic contributor of dry mouth, and it’s linked to how you breathe while asleep. If you breathe (and snore) through your mouth, then you’ll wake up with a mouth as dry as the desert. Doctors also use this as a test of sleep apnea, a snoring disorder where your airways get blocked, forcing you to gasp for air in your sleep.
This is another reason to quit smoking now. The nicotine in tobacco reduces the flow of saliva, resulting in a dry mouth.
You’ve been skipping out on your daily intake of water and could have dry mouth to show for it. The less water you drink, the higher the stakes are for you to wake up with a dry mouth in the morning.
If you have a deviated septum (crooked cartilage in the nose) or nasal polyps (painless, non-cancerous growths in the nasal passage), then you’re more likely to breathe through your mouth. For the same reasons that snoring causes dry mouth, you’ll experience the discomfort.
Some medication can lead to a dry mouth, such as antihistamines, Adderall, and certain anti-depressants.
7 Ways to prevent waking up with a dry mouth
To help your body generate more saliva and keep a dry mouth at bay, there are some lifestyle changes you can make. These habits simply require you to dedicate yourself to them consistently (like drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water a day) or quitting smoking.
1. Stay hydrated
Water is your frontline defence against waking up with a dry mouth. Drink water as often as you can and keep a glass of water next to your bedside.
2. Avoid salty foods
Foods that are high in sodium absorb the water in your system. The result is that you have less water than usual in your body, causing you to be dehydrated and affecting your saliva levels. So pick wisely what you eat before bed, as it can either increase or decrease your chances of waking up with a dry mouth.
3. Cut down on caffeine
Try and stick to less than your regular coffee or chocolate intake. Caffeine contains tannins, which binds to saliva, causing a dry feeling. If you can’t completely cut coffee out, then opt to drink it in the first half of the day.
4. Avoid alcohol before bed
Like caffeine, alcohol is not your best friend in fighting off a dry mouth. Alcohol can create a fertile ground for the“bad” bacteria in your mouth, lowering the amount of “good” bacteria. This change in the microbiome environment in your mouth can lead to less saliva. Not only that, but alcohol disrupts your sleep.
5. Brush your teeth twice a day
Because your mouth might not have enough saliva to help breakdown bacteria, brushing, flossing and using mouthwash twice a day will help to keep your mouth healthy.
6. Use a humidifier
Use a humidifier to add additional moisture to the air; this can eliminate the risk of you waking up with a parched mouth.
7. Chew sugarless gum
Keep a stick of sugarless gum or lozenges close by so you can stimulate saliva production.
Ultimately, your oral hygiene will be the first frontier in your battle against waking up with a dry mouth. If you are in pain or discomfort, can’t sleep well or have dental cavities despite following good oral hygiene, then book a visit with your dentist. A dry mouth is rarely an emergency, but if it interferes with your daily life, then it’s time to find a solution.