What Causes Extremely Dry Mouth While Sleeping And How to Prevent it

What Causes Extremely Dry Mouth While Sleeping And How to Prevent it

A dry mouth can cause problems for your oral health, including tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. It can also lead to other medical conditions, such as oral thrush (yeast infection in the mouth) and an impaired sense of taste for food. This article will discuss what causes mouth dryness while sleeping, its cause and symptoms, how to prevent it, and when you should see a doctor about it.

Dry Mouth at Night: What You Need to Know

A dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is a health condition that occurs when the salivary glands in your mouth don’t produce enough saliva. Saliva helps keep your mouth healthy by neutralizing acid produced by bacteria. It also keeps food particles from sticking to your teeth and gums. A lack of saliva production can compromise these protective functions.

The most common symptom of xerostomia is feeling thirsty all the time. Other signs include difficulty swallowing or chewing, sore throat, mouth sores, stringy saliva, unpleasant taste, hoarseness, chapped lips, and bad breath. Other medical problems may be related to these symptoms, so if you experience them, talk with your dentist or physician. Your dentist will likely recommend a thorough dental examination to determine possible causes.

What Causes Extremely Dry Mouth While Sleeping?

Several factors contribute to xerostomia, including dehydration, breathing through the mouth, medications, aging, diabetes, tobacco use, and cancer therapy.


Your body loses fluids when you don’t drink enough water throughout the day. This makes your saliva glands produce less saliva, which in turn dries out your mouth. Excess alcohol consumption can lead to dehydration, which may cause dry mouth.

Breathing Through Your Mouth

If you breathe through your mouth instead of your nose, you may be more likely to develop xerostomia because nasal secretions do not humidify your airway.


Certain medications can make your mouth feel dry. These include antihistamines, antidepressants, antacids, decongestants, diuretics, and pain medications.


Aging does not cause xerostomia, but the medications used to manage health conditions as we age may play a factor. Certain medications have the side effect of causing dry mouths, such as those used to treat high blood pressure or heartburn.


If you have diabetes, you may experience more frequent episodes of dry mouth due. In addition, if you have poorly controlled blood sugar levels, your saliva glands will produce less saliva, which makes you more susceptible to developing xerostomia.

Tobacco Use

The toxins found in cigarettes and chewing tobacco can affect your salivary flow rate. It makes you produce less saliva than usual, which leads to xerostomia.

Cancer Treatment

Radiation therapy for head and neck cancers can damage the nerves that control salivation. In addition, chemotherapy drugs can also reduce the production of saliva.

How to Prevent Dry Mouth While Sleeping

There are plenty of home remedies you can try to prevent xerostomia while sleeping, such as:

  • Drinking plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated
  • Using a humidifier while sleeping to keep your airways moist
  • Avoid spicy, sugary, and acidic foods before bedtime
  • Chewing sugarless gum
  • Try sucking on ice cubes
  • Use a mouth rinse specifically for dry mouth at night to help stimulate saliva production
  • Use fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash
  • Limit excessive consumption of alcohol and tobacco

If home remedy methods do not work, you should schedule an appointment to talk with our dentist. We can provide you with an effective treatment plan.

Is Dry Mouth a Sign of Pregnancy?

Xerostomia is a typical pregnancy symptoms. This is because pregnant women need more fluid to support their growing babies. Another reason for xerostomia among pregnant women is hormonal changes which lead to increased thirst.

If you are experiencing xerostomia during pregnancy, you can alleviate this problem by drinking plenty of water, using a humidifier, and avoiding spicy, acidic, and sweet food items. You can also chew sugar-free gum to increase saliva production.

Can Anxiety Cause Dry Mouth?

Stress and anxiety can decrease your saliva production, resulting in xerostomia. In addition, taking antidepressant medication results in dry mouth as a side effect.

Schedule a Consultation with us Today

Waking up with a dry mouth can be uncomfortable. By scheduling a consultation with our office today, we can determine what’s causing your dry mouth and recommend the best solution to alleviate your symptoms.

Implant Dentistry Lancaster County | Dentures In Lancaster County PA | Atglen Family Dentistry
Dr. Onyinye Myers has a passion for a natural approach to dental care. As a practicing dentist since 2009, it always comes back to Prevention.

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