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Are you wondering why your mouth is so dry when you wake up? Let’s face it, waking up with a dry mouth can be very uncomfortable. Some people may think, what can possibly be wrong with waking up just thirsty in the morning? Sure, it has been several hours since your last sip. However, waking up with a dry mouth can be a sign of severe health implications. It’s crucial to know the underlying cause of your dry mouth to understand what steps you need to take next.

Read along to know why you wake up with a dry mouth and its 5 most common causes.

What’s dry mouth?

Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, occurs when your glands stop producing enough saliva in your mouth. This condition is known as hyposalivation.

Saliva is essential to your health. This is because it cleans your mouth, kills bacteria, and helps wash away the food you consume.

On the other hand, if you have a dry mouth, you will feel mild to severe sore throat, hoarseness, and burning in your mouth. A dry mouth can also make it difficult for you to swallow or speak. A dry mouth can lead to various dental complications, psychological distress and can distort your sense of taste. This condition can be consistent or temporary, depending on what causes a dry mouth.

Five common causes of waking up with a dry mouth

1. Dehydration

Since saliva is primarily made up of water, not drinking enough water throughout the day can result in a dry mouth. This doesn’t mean you should chug an enormous amount of water before you sleep. It won’t help! You may have to wake up frequently to use your bathroom. Moreover, you’ll likely end up washing away some of the saliva currently present –thus increasing your chances of waking up with a dry mouth in the morning.

The best way to maintain proper hydration is to drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day. This will make sure your body produces the amount of saliva needed to limit dry mouth.

2. Certain Medications

Various medications are associated with dry mouth, including those you can find over-the-counter. Some of the most common medications that cause dry mouth are:

  • Drugs used to treat urinary incontinence
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Anxiety drugs and antidepressants
  • Decongestants
  • Antihistamines

Furthermore, cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation can also lead to dry mouth. But they are often temporary. Talk to our doctor at the Family Diagnostic Clinic if you are on medications and waking up with a dry mouth. We may recommend an alternative if your dry mouth condition is medication-induced.

3. Breathing through the mouth

During your sleep, you should do most of your breathing through your nose instead of your mouth. While this situation is primarily because of your sleeping habits, snoring, or nasal congestion. But it can be a sign of a severe condition, like sleep apnea. This is why it’s essential to talk to your doctor if you often experience dry mouth at night.

4. The food or drink you consume before bedtime

You may wake up with a dry mouth when you consume particular food or drinks that can cause dehydration. So, before bedtime, it’s best to avoid spicy or salty snacks. Moreover, make sure not to drink alcohol or caffeine as they can dehydrate your mouth. And if you smoke tobacco, avoid it after the evening since it can also reduce your salivary flow.

5. An underlying health condition

Well, waking up with a dry mouth once in a while isn’t much of a medical concern as it’s an inconvenience. However, certain health conditions, like diabetes, stroke, nerve damage, and Alzheimer’s disease, may cause dry mouth. Talk to your doctor if you frequently wake up with a dry mouth. They will run tests needed to rule out a severe health issue. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

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