Why Is My Mouth Dry When I Wake Up?

Everyone gets thirsty occasionally. But if you are waking up because your mouth is dry, you may have a problem that needs to be evaluated by your dentist. Sometimes dry mouth is a harmless issue with a simple solution. However, dry mouth may require medical or dental treatment to ensure that you do not eventually need extensive dental treatment. Find out below the answer to “why is my mouth dry when I wake up?”

Dry mouth can lead to several dental problems if not resolved early. To learn more about how we can help treat dry mouth and other oral conditions, schedule an appointment at Trident Dental for a comprehensive oral examination.

What is Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a common condition that many people overlook until it causes another problem. Xerostomia defines a dry mouth resulting from diminished or absent saliva. Saliva normally flows from several salivary glands to keep your mouth moist and aid in chewing, tasting, and swallowing food. Other important functions of saliva include:

  • Preventing halitosis.

  • Protecting tooth enamel from dental caries.

  • Inhibiting gum inflammation.

  • Washing food debris away from teeth.

  • Fighting harmful plaque bacteria.

  • Promoting remineralization of teeth after exposure to acidic foods and drinks.

6 Reasons for Why is My Mouth Dry When I Wake Up?

There are many reasons you can wake up with a dry mouth, including the following:

  1. Mouth breathing. Mouth breathing can be caused by a deviated septum, allergies, or sleep apnea. It might seem that you would breathe better with your mouth open. However, it is less efficient and could lead to serious problems if caused by sleep apnea.

  2. Aging. Some studies show that about twenty percent of older adults wake up with a dry mouth. This often results from other factors, such as medical conditions and medications.

  3. Medications. Many prescription and over-the-counter medications cause dry mouth by affecting the body’s sympathetic nervous system. Common medications that list dry mouth as a side effect include some antihistamines, antidepressants, and analgesics.

  4. Medical conditions. A reason not to ignore chronic dry mouth in the morning is that it could signify a more serious condition. Medical conditions that can cause xerostomia include diabetes, autoimmune diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke. 

  5. Cancer therapy. The two most common forms of cancer treatment are radiation and chemotherapy. Treating head and neck cancer, including oral cancer, often includes radiation that can cause permanent damage to the salivary glands. Some chemotherapy medications can also lead to dry mouth. 

  6. Lifestyle. You may set yourself up for morning dry mouth by what you do during the day. Some of the lifestyle habits that can cause dry mouth include:

  • Smoking or using other tobacco products.

  • Drinking alcohol.

  • Using drugs such as marijuana.

  • Not drinking enough water throughout the day and becoming dehydrated.

Schedule Appointment

Trident Dental offers modern dental technologies and advanced dental materials to help prevent oral disease and maintain optimal oral health. To learn more about how we can help you have a bright smile—even if you have no dental insurance—contact us for a comprehensive oral examination and oral cancer screening.

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