Waking Up With Dry Mouth: Top 4 Causes & Treatments
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Waking Up With Dry Mouth: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

You might have often noticed waking up with dry mouth feels a little uncomfortable and finding it hard to swallow. 

Well, if this happens to you constantly, be aware! It might be more than a temporary hassle indicating a deeper problem requiring specific treatments.


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What’s dry mouth?

Dry mouth, also known as Xerostomia, is a health condition wherein the person feels a sticky sensation and does not have enough saliva or spit in the mouth.

Saliva plays a vital role 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.

Why Do You Wake Up with Dry Mouth?

Xerostomia, or chronic dry mouth, is the medical term for your morning condition of inadequate saliva production. Additionally to rehydrating and disinfecting the mouth, saliva’s antibacterial properties also help keep it free of harmful bacteria. The following symptoms are possible in addition to dryness:

  • A sensation of heat on the tongue
  • Pain/difficulty swallowing/sore throat
  • Dryness in the nasal passages, a hoarse voice, or other speech problems

Xerostomia is a symptom of several diseases that, if left untreated, may cause a diminished sense of taste, dental issues including gum disease and tooth loss, malnutrition, and emotional distress.

What causes extremely dry mouths while sleeping?

Dry mouth is experienced commonly, especially by older people. But it is not considered to be a serious health concern. People usually assume it to be an obvious and short-term outcome of drinking less water.

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

However, the answer isn’t limited to just one simple explanation. There are ample reasons behind waking up with dry mouth.

In fact, it might not be limited to just the mouth. If timely intervention is not done, you can soon start to wake up with a dry throat, headache, and a stuffy nose as well.

Let’s now understand the mystery behind the real query ‘Why does my mouth feel dry even after drinking a lot of water?’

1) The side effect of certain medications

In most cases, dry mouth is considered to be a side effect of certain medications. More than almost 60 percent of prescription medications lead to dry mouth. 

The most common being-

  • Blood pressure medicines
  • Antihistamines
  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-anxiety medicines

Also Read: Dry Mouth From Anxiety

2) Wrong lifestyle choices

Certain habits like smoking, chewing tobacco, and drinking may lead to dry mouth. Recreational drugs like marijuana and methamphetamine can also cause dry mouth temporarily. 

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

3) Underlying Health Disorders

When we say that every function of our body is linked to another, it is the ultimate truth. Many underlying health disorders can affect oral health exhibiting in the form of dry mouth. 

These health problems include-

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

That is why timely action is needed to diagnose and treat the underlying health issues before they turn into something more serious and complicated.

4) 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 snores loudly which further leads to waking up with dry mouth.

The CPAP machine which is used for the treatment of sleep apnea also leads to dry mouth conditions. A study has shown that almost 57% of people using CPAP machines complain of dry mouth. 

Symptoms of waking up with dry mouth:

The symptoms include-

  • Thick saliva
  • Bad breath
  • Change in taste
  • Difficulty in wearing dentures
  • Difficulty in chewing or swallowing
  • Sore throat
  • Dehydrated tongue
  • Plaque in mouth

Nasal congestion and dry mouth: The connection

When the sinus cavities dry out, enough mucus is not produced. In this condition, the tissues become inflamed and irritated as a result.

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.

Treatment 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 you can sip on it whenever you feel dryness in the mouth at night.
  • Avoid substance abuse, especially chewing tobacco and smoking.
  • Watch out for your caffeine intake. Too much caffeine has the potential to cause dehydration and dry mouth.
  • Practice breathing exercises. The point is to get used to breathing from your nose instead of your mouth to avoid conditions like dry mouth.
  • Avoid using mouthwash that contains alcohol, since this can be drying. Make sure to read the label and use an only alcohol-free mouthwash.
  • Avoid purchasing and consuming over-the-counter drugs without a doctor’s consultation. These are not reliable and can cause side effects like dry mouth.
  • Limit your salt consumption. Consume food that is water-rich and cut down on too many fatty and salty foods. Also, try to limit your junk food intake.

Medical treatments

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

Your doctor or dentist can prescribe certain medications that help your body produce more saliva. In many cases, doctors also suggest wearing fluoride trays that help in preventing dry mouth and cavities at the same time.

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

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

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


Those prone to nighttime dry mouth might try one of many all-natural remedies.

Take in Lots of Fluids

If dehydration is to blame for your dry mouth, replenishing your fluid stores may help alleviate your discomfort. Even if you already get enough water throughout the day, consider keeping a glass beside your bed at night. 

Put out your cigarette.

Compared to nonsmokers, smokers tend to produce less saliva at night, so if you’re prone to dry mouth at night, quitting smoking may help.

Issues with Mouth Breathing

If you wake up with a dry mouth because you have to breathe through your mouth at night because of a blocked nose or CPAP therapy, speaking with your doctor about treatment options may help.


As much as you care about your overall health, it is equally important to pay attention to your oral health. What might seem like a minor issue like dry mouth can turn into a serious health complication if not treated timely. Therefore, please consult your doctor if you notice any changes that are persistent. 

Wake Up with Dry Mouth related FAQs

What are some home remedies for dry mouth?

Drinking enough water is the first and most crucial step to alleviate dry mouth at home. Keep yourself well hydrated by drinking water often throughout the day. Chewing sugar-free gum or ice chips also helps you produce more saliva.

Is dry mouth a serious condition?

Chronic dry mouth’s an uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous condition that affects a large percentage of the population. Reduced saliva production is the root reason, and it may have serious consequences. Cavities, gum disease, and poor smell are more likely when saliva can’t remove food particles, germs, and other detritus from the mouth.

What causes dry mouth?

One of the most common causes is dehydration, which may result from insufficient water or sweating too much. Some medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, and antidepressants, may cause dry mouth as a side effect.

Is dry mouth a symptom of sleep apnea?

A dry mouth, a common symptom of sleep apnea, may make speaking, swallowing, and even breathing difficult. It might also increase your risk of cavities and gum disease.

How can I prevent dry mouth at night?

Drink a lot of water. This will help maintain your body’s natural water balance by encouraging saliva production. Avoid consuming alcohol or caffeine after 2 p.m. if you have a dry mouth.

Is dry mouth a sign of dehydration?

A dry mouth might be an indicator of dehydration. When your body doesn’t get enough water, you become dehydrated. A dry mouth is only one of several symptoms that might arise from being dehydrated.

What are the long-term effects of dry mouth?

Long-term implications of dry mouth include a higher probability of developing cavities and gum disease and speech and swallowing impairments. The inability to produce sufficient amounts of saliva is responsible for all these side effects.

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