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8 Simple Hacks to Prevent Dry Mouth While Sleeping

by Izabela Kokoszka on Apr 12, 2024

8 Simple Hacks to Prevent Dry Mouth While Sleeping

The Woes of Dry Mouth

How do you know if you have dry mouth? Do you wake up with a dry mouth in the middle of the night ever and need to reach for your water bottle each time? A sticky dry feeling left on your tongue, mouth and gums? Maybe even chapped lips or a sore throat? It’s important to prevent dry mouth as the saliva in your mouth protects your teeth cavities and infections from happening in the mouth and throat due to bacteria growing and not being flushed away. Saliva production slows down at night making you more vulnerable to harmful bacteria. Dry mouth is also most likely to occur at night since we aren’t drinking water, eating or conscious of breathing.

If you are experiencing dry mouth at night check out some tips that can help you.

Tips to Prevent Dry Mouth

Check to see if medication are causing dry mouth

Many medications warn of the possibility of dry mouth while taking them. You should never stop taking medication but talking with your doctor can help determine if it is the medication and if so finding a new medication that will still work for you and get rid of dry mouth.

Nonprescription medications such as antihistamines and decongestants could be the cause. Antihistamines block off saliva production. Decongestants are meant to dry out mucus in the body and get rid of water in the body. If you’re taking decongestants regularly it’s important to keep extra hydrated with water and fruits and vegetables.

Stay hydrated throughout the day

Keeping a water bottle with you throughout the day will help you stay hydrated and make up for not drinking at night. It also helps remove any food particles stuck in teeth.

Use glycerin

Glycerin is a humectant, which means it attracts and retains moisture. There are a few ways to use glycerin. You could put a few drops in a cup of water, swish it around and spit it out. You could also make a spray by putting droplets into a spay bottle and spraying it into your mouth, be mindful not to consume too much. There are a variety of products such as toothpastes, mouthwashes and swab sticks that can be used to moisten the mouth.

Using a non-alcoholic mouthwash

Alcoholic mouthwashes dry out as well as slow down saliva production leading to dry mouth. Besides helping with dry mouth non-alcoholic mouthwashes have other benefits. Alcohol kills off all the bacteria, good and bad leading to an imbalance and causing dental problems such as plaque build-up, enamel erosion, inflammation in gums, and even tooth loss. A dry mouth leads to bad breath, which is to be prevented with mouthwash, not enable it.

Alcohol also strips away the protective enamel on the teeth and can burn sensitive gums. Irritation of the gums can lead to ulcers.

Dencle offers a non-alcoholic travel size mouthwash that is gentle on the mouth and made of natural ingredients.

Keeping your bedroom at ideal sleeping conditions

Use a humidifier as breathing in dry air will cause and worsen dry mouth. There are small bedside humidifiers which can be placed right next to your face as you sleep. Using a humidifier throughout the colder dry months for many who experience dry mouth. It’s especially important to run the humidifier at night since you won’t be drinking water and are more likely to breathe through your mouth unconsciously. Humidifiers are available in cold and warm mist, the difference being that the warm mist has a heater which warms the water up as it disperses it. The temperature of the water doesn’t matter for dry mouth but some people find warm mist humidifiers more enjoyable in the cold winter months.

On the note of temperature keeping your bedroom cooler makes for better sleep. The ideal temperature should be between 60°F (15.5°C) and 68°F (20°C). If the temperature is too warm it has a negative effect on the sleep cycle which will wake you up. There is more science behind sleeping in a cool bedroom as proper amounts of melatonin and are produced and your body can’t fall asleep if its too warm, it will need to wait to drop to a lower temperature.

Use special toothpaste

Regular toothpaste can dry out your mouth further so look for ones that contain ingredients such as xylitol or sorbitol, which help increase saliva. Bacteria can’t process these carbohydrates, making xylitol and sorbitol ideal for stimulating saliva and moisturizing or soothing dry mouths.

Chew on sugar free gum and candy

Chewing sugarless gum or suck on sugarless hard candy to stimulate saliva flow; citrus, cinnamon, or mint-flavored candies are good choices. Chewing gum also helps as it mimics eating and makes the salivary glands more active.

Just like for toothpaste gum with ingredients like xylitol or sorbitol also help with saliva production.

Be mindful of the foods you’re eating and beverages drinking

Drinks with caffeine such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, and alcohol all dry out the mouth.

Both sugary foods and drinks are harmful as sugar is damaging to the teeth by bacteria being able to eat at the sugar stuck to your teeth, turning it into acid and causing tooth decay. If you have sugary foods or drinks make sure to rinse your mouth out with water. Normally saliva would wash away the excess sugar and by drinking water or rinsing with it acts as a substitute.

Foods with salt absorb water and can cause irritation to the mouth. Acidic foods eat away at tooth enamel which is already in a weakened state due to dry mouth. Saliva helps neutralize the acid in food which is harmful to teeth, the mouth and the rest of the body. Spicy foods cause irritation because the salvia is missing to coat and protect the inside of the mouth.

Drinking between bites of dry food like chips, toast or anything very bready as they will suck out the moisture in your mouth.

Breathe through your nose

Make it a habit to check if you find yourself breathing through your mouth ever during the day. If so switch to breathing through your nose so your body adjusts to that.

If you find yourself breathing through your nose factor out any causes for it since this will significantly worsen dry mouth. Nasal strips are an easy way to see if breathing through nose can be improved. They are stiff pieces of fabric that stick to nostrils and widen them, allowing for better airflow. If nasal strips don’t work you should speak with your doctor to check for any nasal obstructions or allergies. Sleep apnea also causes mouth breathing.

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