How To Prevent Dry Mouth While Sleeping

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If you suffer from dry mouth, you may know how unpleasant the disease can be. A dry mouth can have a negative impact on your daily life, most notably on the quality of your sleep. However, there is no need to be alarmed; this is a frequently occurring condition and there are ways to prevent it.

Continue reading to learn about what dry mouth is, its causes, its symptoms, and how to prevent dry mouth.

Dry Mouth

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Xerostomia also known as dry mouth — is a recognized medical disorder. It affects the salivary glands in your mouth, preventing you from producing the saliva necessary to keep your mouth moist. A moist mouth is important because it helps to neutralize the acids produced by bacteria.

For example, saliva present in the mouth helps in limiting germs by washing away food particles, preventing bacteria from growing out of control in your throat and mouth.

Causes Of Dry Mouth

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Dry mouth at night is a relatively common occurrence, particularly among older adults. This is due to the fact that saliva changes with age. According to research, certain components of saliva decrease with age  leading to dry mouth[1]

However, age cannot be the only cause. There could be other causes of dry mouth. For example, if you experience dry mouth just at night, the cause could be a nasal obstruction that forces you to breathe exclusively via your mouth. Numerous drugs might also aggravate dry mouth. According to the American Academy of Oral Medicine, over 1,100 prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs may induce dry mouth[2].

Additionally, according to a 2015 assessment of studies, more than 80% of the top 100 drugs taken in the United States cause this problem [3]. Medications that cause dry mouth include the following: hypertensive medication, antidepressants, antianxiety medications, antacids, antihistamines, and Diuretics that are used to treat chronic obstructive lung disease and asthma.

Other possible causes include the following: pregnancy, Sjogren syndrome (dryness of eyes and mouth), radiation, drug use, and chemotherapy [4].

Symptoms Of Dry Mouth

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Symptoms of dry mouth can differ from person to person. The most typical symptoms of nighttime drying of the mouth are as follows: Dryness, Saliva that is thick or stringy, throat irritation or throat dryness, Lips that are chapped and/or dry, waking up with the sensation that you are unable to take a breath through your mouth due to dryness [5]. Additionally, you will frequently wake up at night to drink water.

Moreover, you can also feel a dry mouth in the morning. In the morning, you will smell bad breath coming from your mouth and will notice a sticky deposit of saliva.

The symptoms of dry mouth during the day include difficulty in speaking, and swallowing, unpleasant taste or alteration in the flavor of food, hoariness, and Increasing discomfort when wearing dentures.

Tips To Prevent Dry Mouth While Sleeping

1. Chew Sugar-Free Gum

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Chew sugar-free gum or eat sugar-free hard candies to trigger the flow of saliva through your mouth. This method will prevent your mouth from becoming excessively dry.  However, If you eat too many sugar-free gums or candies in high amounts, a compound name xylitol might be released which might induce diarrhea or cramping.

2. Avoid Caffeine

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Coffee contains caffeine, which is slightly dehydrating and contributes to coffee-induced dry mouth. Another culprit is tannins, a chemical present in coffee.

These ingredients have been shown to reduce saliva production which can worsen the condition of a person already suffering from dry mouth. No wonder, we feel dryness in our mouths after just drinking a cup of coffee.

So, caffeine and tannins may cause your mouth to dry up, so try to consume them in moderate amounts.

3. Avoid Alcohol Containing Mouthwashes

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Mouthwashes containing alcohol should be avoided because they might be drying. That is because alcohol is a drying agent. This means that swishing alcohol mouthwash in your mouth reduces saliva production, resulting in a dry mouth. This is more than an uncomfortable sensation; a dry mouth adds to foul breath and germ production in the mouth.

4. Avoid Smoking Or Chewing Tobacco

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Smoking reduces the secretion of saliva as well as its quality. Nicotine found in tobacco and cigarettes decreases saliva flow, aggravating an already dry mouth. The most effective strategy to fight dry mouth caused by tobacco usage is to completely discontinue smoking [6].

5. Drink Plenty Of Water

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If you don’t drink enough water, you may experience a dry mouth as a result of dehydration. A dry mouth isn’t usually caused by dehydration, but drinking water can help wash away microorganisms in your mouth until your saliva flow returns to normal.

6. Try Over The Counter Medicines

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Try over-the-counter saliva substitutes, such as Mouth Kote or Oasis Moisturizing Mouth Spray, or Biotene Oral Balance, which include carboxymethylcellulose or hydroxyethylcellulose.

7. Try xylitol-containing mouthwash

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Try a mouthwash for dry mouth, especially one with xylitol, like “Biotene Dry Mouth Oral Rinse” or “ACT Total Care Dry Mouth Mouthwash”. They both provide tooth decay protection and promote saliva production.

8. Avoid decongestant and antihistamines medicines

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You need to avoid decongestant and over-the-counter antihistamines because they reduce saliva production and can exacerbate your symptoms.

9. Use A Humidifier

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Breathing dry air can cause a dry mouth over time, so adding moisture to the room via a humidifier can help. A room humidifier will add moisture to the air at night. Saliva Breathing this treated air will help alleviate your discomfort, particularly while you’re sleeping.

10. Take A Deep Breath Through Your Nose

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Instead of breathing via your lips, breathe through your nose. That is because breathing through your mouth can cause dryness, especially if you do so while sleeping. If you can’t breathe this way because of allergies or congestion, talk to your doctor about how to deal with your allergies, congestion, or sleep problems.

11. Take vitamins

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If the dry mouth has led to other oral health problems such as inflammation or mouth sores, making sure your immune system is in good shape might help you avoid infection. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Vitamin C aids in the regeneration of skin, teeth, bones, and tissues [7].

Your immune system will also benefit from B vitamins. Consult your doctor about a B-complex supplement that contains thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, and B6.

12. Avoid acidic meals and drinks

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You’ll want to avoid spicy foods and dishes with a high acidity level for a while. These things contain components that can increase dry mouth symptoms, as the body requires more water than usual to battle the spiciness of the food.

By the time you go to sleep, your mouth will be devoid of any remaining saliva. These foods also increase your risk of tooth decay and can contribute to dry mouth so it is better to avoid them.

13. Use Fluoride Tooth Brush

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Brush with fluoride toothpaste according to the dentist’s advice to see if prescription fluoride toothpaste is right for you. Additionally, before going to bed, using a fluoride rinse or a fluoride gel or a custom-fit fluoride applicator (manufactured by your dentist) may be helpful in some cases. Moreover, to detect and treat tooth decay or other dental problems, see your dentist at least twice a year.

14. Get a Sleep test

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A dry mouth is a common sign of excessive snoring. If you breathe through your mouth and snore frequently, you may have a sleep-related condition such as sleep apnea. Consult a physician or sleep specialist to learn more about your treatment choices.

15. Use Glycerin

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Glycerin (also known as glycerol) is a harmless, flavorless chemical that is readily available in cake decorating stores and online. It serves as a humectant, attracting and retaining moisture. Put a few drops of glycerin in water and spit it out. Alternatively, prepare an oral spray: use our drop’s glycerin in a tiny spray bottle (4 ounces) of water and use it as needed – no need to spit it out.

It is important to mention here, that try to avoid directly putting drops on the tongue or in the mouth. Glycerin must be diluted in water. This remedy will help prevent dry mouth while you will be sleeping.

If these measures fail to prevent your mouth from drying out, consult your doctor or dentist. A drug or another medical condition could be to blame. One of the most prevalent reasons for dry mouth is medication. Stopping or altering your medication or its dosage, or addressing underlying health conditions, could provide long-term relief from your dry mouth


A dry mouth is a bothersome condition that can be caused by a variety of factors. You can learn how to manage the symptoms with the assistance of your dentist and these at-home solutions. Take extra precautions with your dental health and consult with your dentist to determine the finest dry mouth home treatment to keep your mouth feeling at ease.

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I am Dr. Aniqa Agha graduate from King Edward Medical University. I did major in Physical therapy. I am also a professional content writer for over four years experience in content writing. During these years, i have written numerous research articles, health blog posts.