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Xerostomia: How to prevent dry mouth while sleeping?

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Millions of Canadians each year find themselves waking from a deep sleep throughout the night or in the morning with an extremely dry mouth, leaving them uncomfortable and in search of relief. 

People suffering from an excessively dry mouth that is left untreated can lead to several dental problems from tooth decay to gum disease.

So, if you have xerostomia and wonder how to prevent dry mouth while sleeping, this article is for you. Our sleep expert at Polysleep gives you not 1 but 10 effective tips.

What is xerostomia?

Xerostomia is classified as an unusually dry mouth. It’s one of the most commonly reported oral health conditions.

Dry mouth is characterized by insufficient production of saliva by an individual. 

Saliva is a key factor of the digestive system as it aids in breaking down food, helps to rid the mouth of bacteria, and even is responsible for protecting tooth enamel among many other functions.

Tips for better sleep

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What are the symptoms of xerostomia?

As with any medical condition, there are a number of signs and symptoms associated with an excessively dry mouth. 

The most commonly reported symptom among those suffering from dry mouth is frequently finding yourself waking throughout the night desperately searching for something to drink.

In addition to finding themselves feeling parched throughout the night, many have reported the following symptoms associated with xerostomia:

  • A sore throat upon waking up from sleeping,
  • Dry and/or chapped lips,
  • A dry and/or scratchy throat,
  • Waking throughout the night due to the inability to breathe from excessive dryness,
  • Halitosis, also known as bad breath, in the morning or throughout the day,
  • A buildup of thick saliva upon waking.

What are the causes of dry mouth?

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Mouth dryness is associated with several different causes and conditions.

Medication

The use of certain medications, both over the counter and prescription, has been linked to dry mouth medically referred to as xerostomia. 

Antidepressants, urologic, and antimuscarinic drugs are among the many medications prescribed by medical professionals that have been linked to dry mouth. 

In addition to these prescription medications, over-the-counter allergy medications, pain medications, and decongestants have been known to carry dry mouth as a commonly reported side effect for users.

Cancer treatment

Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, have been tied-up to the change in how much saliva one produces throughout their treatment regimen. This change in one’s health is often temporary and salivary production often returns to normal once this treatment has been completed.

Illicit drug use

Recreational drugs such as methamphetamine and marijuana have been connected to dry mouth or “cottonmouth”. This excessive dry mouth leads to tooth decay in users when left untreated.

Dental hardware

Dental ware such as a bite block or retainers has been linked to dry mouth among those who find themselves needing to utilize these pieces.

Other conditions

  • Cystic fibrosis,
  • HIV infection,
  • AIDS,
  • Lymphoma,
  • Stroke,
  • Uncontrolled hypertension.

How to sleep with a toothache?

Top view of a young man sleeping in his bed

How to prevent dry mouth while sleeping?

Feeling exhausted but cannot seem to stay asleep? Do you find yourself waking with an unusually dry mouth throughout the night or in the morning? 

If you have found yourself in this situation, you are probably wondering how to prevent dry mouth while sleeping. There are many tips and tricks that professionals have recommended as a “DIY” fix.

Among these tips and tricks, the most commonly used are:

  • Add a humidifier in your sleep space to increase the moisture level in the air.
  • Do not use tobacco products.
  • Avoid excessive amounts of caffeine before bedtime.
  • Do not eat extremely spicy and/or acidic foods at dinner.
  • Ensure you are staying hydrated adequately.
  • Utilize nose spray and/or nasal strips designed to open your nasal cavity.
  • Chew sugar-free gum or eat sugar-free candies throughout the day to increase the natural production of saliva.
  • Ensure you are practicing proper brushing and flossing techniques.
  • Include the use of over-the-counter mouth washed made specifically for dry mouth.
  • Keep ice chips or water readily available beside your bed every night to soothe the discomfort.

What is sleep hygiene and how do I maintain a good one?

Young woman having slept well stretching in bed at her morning sunrise

At Polysleep, we understand the affliction of “how to prevent dry mouth while sleeping?”. 

We believe a good night of sleep begins at the top and works its way down, which is why we have created a pillow designed with you in mind. 

The Polysleep pillow is fully customizable with multiple, adjustable layers of hybrid foam. Simply add or remove more hybrid foam layers until you have reached the desired comfort of your Polysleep pillow.

Improve your sleep with the Polysleep Pillow!

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