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Waking Up With Dry Mouth: Causes Due To And How To Stop

Waking up with dry mouth: Causes dueto and how to stop

You would have often noticed waking up with a dry mouth feeling uncomfortable and things getting hard to swallow. 

Well, if this happens to you constantly, it can be something more than just a normal one-day problem and requires deeper observation and if required, possible treatments.

Dry mouth, also called xerostomia, in medical terms, is a health condition wherein the person feels a sticky sensation when he or she doesn’t have enough saliva or spit in the mouth.

This saliva plays a very vital function in moistening and cleansing our mouth. It also aids in the digestion of food and prevents the deposition of bacteria and fungi into the mouth.

What causes extremely dry mouths while sleeping?

Dry mouth is something experienced by many people, especially older people, but it is not taken as a very serious health concern. People take it as an obvious and short-term outcome of low water intake.

While a persistent dry mouth in itself is a cause of concern, what actually causes such dry mouth while sleeping is the real question that follows. 

The answer isn’t limited to one cause. There are ample reasons as to why you would wake up with a dry mouth. 

In fact, not just mouth. If not taken timely prevention, the condition leads to waking up with a dry throat, headache, and a stuffy nose as well.

So, what are the probable causes that make you wonder -’ why does my mouth feel dry even after drinking a lot of water?’

The side effect of certain medications

Dry mouth, in most cases, is considered a side effect of certain medications. More than 60 percent of the prescription medications lead to dry mouth, the most common being-

  • blood pressure drugs
  • antihistamines
  • antidepressants
  • anti-anxiety drugs

Wrong lifestyle

Certain habits like smoking, chewing tobacco, and drinking may lead to the condition of dry mouth. Drugs like marijuana and methamphetamine are also causes of a dry mouth, but temporarily. 

Apart from these, dehydration is one of the major conditions why you feel like having a dry mouth. If your body is constantly low on fluids and you sweat way too much, you can experience a dry mouth.

Underlying health disorders

When we say that every function of our body is linked to another, it’s completely true. Many underlying health disorders can ultimately affect oral health and cause dry mouth. 

These health problems include-

  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Yeast infection in the mouth
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Autoimmune diseases 
  • Snoring

That is why timely intervention is needed for treating the underlying health issues before they turn into something serious and complicated in the long run.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea is a sleep disorder that affects breathing when you’re asleep thus disrupting a sound and peaceful sleep. 

In sleep apnea, the person breathes from the mouth or snore loudly which can lead to waking up with a dry mouth.

The CPAP machine used as a treatment for sleep apnea is what ultimately causes the dry mouth condition, especially if you breathe through your mouth or sleep with it open.

Symptoms of dry mouth

The symptoms of a dry mouth include-

  • Thick saliva
  • Bad breath
  • Changes in taste
  • Issues while wearing dentures
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Sore throat
  • Grooved tongue
  • Plaques in mouth

Nasal congestion and dry mouth: The connection

When the sinus cavities dry out, there is not enough mucus production. In this condition, the tissues become inflamed and irritated.

This leads to a dry throat, nose, and a dry mouth in particular. Irritation in the sinuses can also cause-

  • Headaches
  • pain in the cheeks 
  • sinus pressure

You might need a medical consultation from your doctor if the problem of dry sinus continues for a long time.

Cure for dry mouth

Home remedies

There is nothing better than starting from your safe space, your home! You can follow these simple home remedies in order to prevent dry mouth, stuffy nose, and sore throats.

  • Always keep a glass of water alongside your bed before going to sleep so that you can sip on it whenever you feel like a dry mouth at night
  • Avoid substance abuse, especially chewing tobacco and smoking.
  • Watch out for your caffeine intake. Too much of it can lead to dehydration and dry mouth.
  • Practice breathing exercises. The point is to breathe from your mouth and not your nose to avoid conditions like dry mouth.
  • Avoid using mouthwash that contains alcohol, since this can be drying. Use alcohol-free mouthwash.
  • Avoid purchasing and consuming over-the-counter drugs. These are not reliable enough and cause side effects like dry mouth.
  • Limit your salt consumption. Look for food that is water-rich and cut down on too many fatty and salty foods. Also, limit your junk intake.

Medical treatments

If your condition does not improve within time by home remedies, there are high chances you would need a doctor’s help. 

Your doctor or dentist might prescribe certain medications that help your body produce saliva. In many cases, doctors also suggest wearing fluoride trays to help prevent dry mouth and cavities.

Moreover, the possible suggestions your doctor may give you is to use-

  • Alcohol-free mouthwash
  • Dry mouth toothpaste
  • Saliva-stimulating lozenges

In cases like nasal congestion leading to dry mouth, doctors recommend septoplasty, a surgical procedure that cures your deviated septum and prevents open mouth breathing,


As much as you care about your overall health, it is equally important to pay attention to your oral health. What seems like a small issue like dry mouth can turn into a serious health complication if not treated timely.

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