Dry Mouth at Night
|By Dr. Harold Katz - Bad Breath Expert|
Dry mouth at night is a problem that many people have and it can lead to other oral health problems. People that suffer from an overly dry mouth during the night can have bad breath that signals an underlying problem that can worsen if not corrected. This condition can be caused by several things and some of them are easier to fix than others. If your mouth is overly dry during the night, there are products that can help if it is not caused by a medical problem. It is important to understand what the cause of an extremely dry mouth is before any treatment or possible solutions can be given.
A common cause of dryness overnight is a side effect of medications. If any medication a person is currently taking has the side effect of dryness, the issue can be easily resolved by reducing the dosage or changing the medication. Several medications can cause dryness in the mouth including nonprescription drugs. This can be anything from allergy pills to pain and anxiety medication. Over-the-counter sedatives and muscle relaxants can also contribute to this condition. Muscle relaxants are often given to people that have been through traumatic events like car accidents and other things that can cause increased tension in muscles.
Another major cause of dry mouth at night that is more serious than medication is a side effect of different diseases and infections. Many diseases have dry mouth as a symptom and detecting it early can be very helpful to a diagnosis as well as treatment. Since so many disorders can cause the mouth to become overly dry at night, it is important to let your doctor know if that is one of your regular symptoms. HIV along with Alzheimers, diabetes, anemia, hypertension, Parkinsons disease, and mumps can all cause a persons mouth to dry out during the night. Some of these are not serious health conditions while others can be life-threatening.
Smokers and people that chew tobacco frequently have dry mouth at night because tobacco products can affect the salivary glands. These glands produce saliva which the mouth needs for digestion and to keep the mouth clean. Tobacco users often have decreased function of their salivary glands and it can cause problems including dry mouth. Dehydration can also lead to a dry mouth. It is important to stay hydrated to keep your body working properly. Fevers, sweating, blood loss and burns can all lead to dehydration so if any of these things happen, get plenty of fluids to avoid having an overly dry mouth.
Dry mouth has several symptoms that are easy to recognize and if a person has dry mouth, it should be taken care of quickly to avoid further health problems. Most people that have dry mouth at night notice a sticky and dry feeling in their mouth in the morning or throughout the night. This comes from the salivary glands not secreting as much saliva as they should while you are asleep. Many people that have allergies can also have dry mouth at night because clogged noses lead to heavy breathing through the mouth.
The second major symptom of dry mouth is frequent thirst. When your salivary glands are not properly wetting your mouth, your body will crave fluids to keep your mouth moist. Water and other drinks can help with the thirst, but do not fix the real problem that is causing the dry mouth. People with dry mouth at night may find themselves waking up for a glass of water or grabbing a drink first thing in the morning to make up for the dryness. This is one of the easier problems to deal with that is associated with dry mouth at night.
Another symptom that is experienced by many people that have this disorder is the presence of sores in the mouth, dry or cracked lips, and small sores at the corners of the mouth. When the mouth is not lubricated, everything around it dries out. This makes developing sores easier in certain areas of the mouth like the corners where the lips meet one another. When your mouth is lubricated properly, your lips should stay moist which generally tends to prevent cracking of the lips. Sores in the mouth develop and cause pain and irritation that can interrupt your day.
Dry mouth at night tends to lead to a dry feeling in the throat along with burning or tingling in the mouth and on the tongue. Your salivary glands produce lubrication for the throat as well as your mouth. A dry throat can make it hard to swallow when you go to eat anything, especially dry foods like bread and cereal. The mouth and tongue commonly have a burning or tingling sensation when you have dry mouth. This can be irritating and lead to other problems in the mouth. The tongue should be moist and a healthy pink when your mouth is working properly.
A very common symptom associated with dry mouth at night is difficulty tasting foods. Taste is something that everyone enjoys and that also requires moist taste buds on the tongue. In addition, this can also include difficulty in talking, chewing and swallowing. The tongue needs to stay loose and mobile to make the movements associated with talking. If you have a dry mouth, it often leads to a clenched jaw which makes chewing difficult. Swallowing becomes difficult because the throat needs to be lubricated to bring food down the esophagus.
One of the most irritating symptoms from dry mouth at night is bad breath. The body uses saliva to break down things in the mouth. When the mouth is dry, it gives bacteria and other things that cause bad breath the perfect place to grow. People that suffer from dry mouth at night frequently have bad breath. The bad breath is at its worst in the morning after a night of dryness but it can persist throughout the day. Bad breath can be dealt with by maintaining proper oral hygiene. Fluoride toothpaste like TheraBreath Toothpaste can help to fight bad breath caused by dry mouth at night.
Dry mouth at night may seem like something that would be okay to leave unchecked as long as you brush your teeth to stop the bad breath it causes; but it is actually something that should be dealt with as quickly as possible. If you are on medication that causes the dry mouth then your doctor should be able to switch you to a different medication or prescribe an oral rinse to bring natural levels of moisture back to your mouth. Untreated dry mouth can lead to several oral health problems but dry mouth at night has some easy solutions.
One major problem that is linked to dry mouth is gingivitis. Gingivitis is a gum disease that is characterized by inflammation. Gingivitis starts out with a plaque buildup that eventually leads the gums to become swollen and red. People that have gingivitis often bleed when they are brushing their teeth as well. When you have dry mouth for extended periods of time like overnight, plaque builds up much more quickly than in a moist mouth. A properly moist mouth uses saliva to break down things like plaque and get it out of your mouth.
Tooth decay can also be a result from dry mouth at night. Tooth decay is a very serious oral condition that can lead to cavities and loss of teeth. If you have dry mouth at night, it is important to do everything you can to treat it before it gets to the stage where your teeth start to decay. When your teeth begin to decay due to dry mouth, it can also make it hard to wear dentures. Dentures use the moisture in the mouth along with the denture paste to seal them to the gums.
Another reason to treat dry mouth at night as early as possible is that it can leave you susceptible to oral infections like thrush. Thrush is caused by fungus that is in your mouth and digestive system. When your salivary glands are working properly, the saliva keeps the fungus in check. Both are essential parts of the digestive system, but with dry mouth at night, the fungus can start to grow into yeast infections in the mouth. There are a few common treatments for dry mouth at night in addition to proper oral hygiene. This can include staying hydrated, breathing through the nose, and over-the-counter medications.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of dry mouth at night is the first step to fixing the problem. If you have any of the symptoms associated with this condition, it is important to start treating it quickly. Dry mouth at night can lead to bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay. Make sure to get your dry mouth at night diagnosed and begin treatment as soon as possible so it doesnt develop into anything more serious than a simple dry mouth.