Waking up with a dry mouth, also known as xerostoma, is a problem that almost everyone of us will experience at some point in our lives. While some people may suffer from this problem constantly since their salivary glands aren’t producing enough saliva, the others will experience this feeling only at certain time periods, such as when they wake up.
There are several reasons why you might wake up with a dry mouth. Some of the most common reasons are:
- Incorrect breathing:
This is one of the most common reasons and happens when we breathe through our mouths instead of our nostrils at night when we sleep. While sleeping, if we breathe correctly, through our nostrils, the air is warmed up in the sinuses and then reaches the lungs.
However, if we land up breathing through our mouths, then its the cold air that reaches our lungs and as a result, we land up waking up with a dry mouth.
- Cold and Sinus Infections:
You must have noticed how the nose gets blocked when you catch a cold or flu or develop a sinus infection. In such cases too, you breathe through your mouth, especially when you’re asleep and that is why, you will again wake up with a cold, dry mouth.
It is good to stay away from such infections by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, working out regularly and avoiding unhygienic food. However, there are certain medications like, antihistamines that can further worsen dry mouth problems, so you need to be careful about that.
- Drugs, alcohol and smoking:
While these three can affect your lifespan disastrously, they can also be the reason behind the problem of waking up with a dry mouth. There are over more than 400 prescription and over-the-counter drugs that can affect the production of saliva and cause a dry mouth.
So if you’re taking any of these, then you might have to find out some remedy to counter this problem. Alcohol can act as a muscle relaxant and may cause your mouth to fall open as you sleep. Even smoking can reduce the secretion of saliva.
- Your environment:
This is another problem that can give you a dry mouth. If you spend time in an environment where the air is dry, then the dry air can irritate the sinuses and create this problem.
One suitable idea to tackle this problem would be running a humidifier through the room as you sleep at night as it will moisten the air and make it easier for you to breathe.
When the situation gets serious:
Most of the times, if you are frequently waking up with a dry mouth, then you generally have to make a few lifestyle changes, such as quit smoking and alcohol consumption, to tackle this problem.
However, if this problem is too frequent, then chances are that you are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea which means that you stop breathing frequently while you’re asleep and this can be fateful if not treated properly.
So make sure you visit the doctor, if it’s becoming too frequent and making healthy lifestyle changes aren’t helping you out.