Who doesn't love a great night's sleep? According to the Mayo Clinic, sleep prevents irritability, allows you to focus throughout the day and helps you control your appetite and manage your weight. The human body requires a certain amount of rest every day to function. On some nights, however, sleep gets interrupted, with dry mouth as one of the many culprits. If you've ever dealt with dry mouth while sleeping, here are some causes, ways to cope and advice on when to see your dentist.
What is Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is when you lack the necessary saliva to keep your mouth wet and moist. Saliva performs several functions in the mouth, including aiding in food digestion, preventing tooth decay and allowing you to chew and swallow. Everyone suffers from dry mouth on occasion, usually due to stress, but having it chronically is of greater concern.
Dry Mouth Symptoms
Common symptoms include a dry tongue and dry throat, cracked lips and a sticky feeling in your mouth. Some dry mouth sufferers also experience difficulty chewing, swallowing and tasting food and difficulty speaking, as well as mouth sores or a burning feeling in the mouth. If you experience multiple dry mouth symptoms, consult your dentist or doctor, as these could be signs of an underlying condition that requires treatment.
What Causes Dry Mouth?
Once you've identified the symptoms, it's equally important to know the causes of dry mouth while sleeping. Reasons for the condition can range from snoring to sleeping with your mouth open. It could also be a side effect of smoking or drinking, stress or other emotional issues, a condition such as Sjögren's Syndrome or a side effect of medication that treat sinus infections, anxiety and depression, among others.
The Best Treatment Strategies
The first thing you should do is talk to your dentist. She'll be able to correctly diagnose your symptoms and, if you do suffer from the condition, provide you with treatment options. In the meantime, here are some simple ideas to implement:
- Keep a glass or bottle of water on your nightstand to drink if you wake up at night
- Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free hard candies throughout your day, suggests the Mayo Clinic
- Run a humidifier while you sleep to negate dry air in your bedroom
- Decrease caffeine and soda consumption
- Give up tobacco and alcohol
- Consume copious amounts of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration
In addition, a strong oral care routine will only help you. Be sure to incorporate an alcohol-free mouthwash, like the Colgate Enamel Health™ Alcohol-Free Mouthwash, into your oral health routine to ease your dry mouth. That should also include brushing twice a day and flossing. Flossing helps eliminate food particles that get stuck in tight spaces between your teeth that a toothbrush might not be able to reach.
There's no need to let dry mouth ruin your good night's rest. Wake up happy and energized each day by refusing to let a dry, thristy mouth put a damper on some solid sleep.