From time to time, we all suffer from uncomfortable oral health issues that can be embarrassing and hinder our daily lives. Although it may not seem like a serious problem, dry mouth can lead to things like tooth decay or bad breath if it goes untreated. It can sometimes be a side effect of not drinking enough water or it could be caused by the dry winter air, but other times it can be your body telling you that it is suffering from an illness that affects your entire system.
Having dry mouth at night is very common. It can lead to a parched feeling throughout the entire throat that can make it challenging to eat, drink or even talk. It can also make the throat feel sore and scratchy because it isn't getting enough lubricant from saliva. If you are experiencing dry mouth during the night, it's likely that you wake up with bad breath. The bacteria that accumulate in the mouth aren't usually washed down by anything beyond saliva during the night, so they sit in the back of the mouth until you wake up in the morning. If you are suffering from dry mouth that is causing bad breath, it can be very beneficial to scrape your tongue during your daily oral health regimen. This will get rid of most of the bacteria that get stuck in the mouth quickly for fresh breath all day.
Are you really drinking enough water?
Take notice of how much water you are drinking throughout the day - it may actually be less than you think. To stay properly hydrated, you need to calculate how much you weigh, the amount of exercise you get every day, the altitude of the area you live, your climate, the amount of alcohol you drink and more. These factors combine to determine how much water you should be consuming, which can change on a daily basis. Drinking eight to ten glasses of water each day is the general median to follow.
Do you live in a dry climate?
We are in the dead of the winter, and for most of the country, that means that the air is cold and dry. Remember when you were a little kid and you used a humidifier in the middle of the winter to prevent colds? Adults can benefit just as much from using a humidifier - as long as you don't overdo it. It is possible to have a humidifier running too much, but using it at night time can help people get a good night's rest if they are suffering from dry mouth.
Are you stressed?
Stress causes countless health problems that a lot of people aren't aware of - like dry mouth. When stressed, our saliva glands don't work as they should and we experience dry mouth. Stress-induced dry mouth can pop up for a variety of reasons, including something like a presentation, job interview, illness in the family or even depression.
"Anxiety and stress wreak havoc on the body,” Stacey Silvers, MD, of Madison ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery in NYC told Yahoo! Voices. “There is an increased amount of stomach acid as a result of stress and anxiety. Testing, including my own office tests, has shown acid reflux to make it as high as into the back of the nose. Stomach acid is a pH of 2 and can kill off some of the healthy bacteria that we count on to keep our oral cavity healthy and hydrated."
There are many treatments for individuals who suffer from sporadic or seasonal dry mouth that can alleviate other issues, as well as keep dry mouth from ruining your day.