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How to Prevent Dry Mouth While Sleeping-Absolute Smile

How to Prevent Dry Mouth While Sleeping

Every day, millions of people wake up in the morning with that icky feeling of dry mouth. It’s uncomfortable and unpleasant, can prevent you from sleeping well at night, and leaves you feeling parched and unwell in the morning. But what’s worse, chronic dry mouth can result in long-term complications like gum disease or tooth decay if left untreated. But there’s hope: understanding what causes dry mouth, how to identify it, and how to prevent it can mean that you are properly armed to avoid the unpleasantness (and unfortunate long-term side-effects) of dry mouth!

Why am I getting dry mouth?

Why me? What am I doing wrong that’s causing my dry mouth? First, know that dry mouth may not be anyone’s fault in particular: sometimes it just happens. Certain radiation treatments can cause dry mouth, as does aging or concurrent diseases like diabetes or Parkinson’s. You can also increase your likelihood of getting dry mouth if you smoke or chew tobacco; certain medications can also cause dry mouth. Dry mouth is characterized by a distinct lack of saliva, which can occur due to any number of other things. The trouble with this lack of saliva, though, is that it allows bacteria to better stick to your teeth. Beyond the general discomfort of having limited saliva, this can also cause increased tooth decay and ultimately infection.

Dry mouth also causes several other, less severe issues that can be equally annoying. Issues like stickiness in the mouth, a perpetual thirstiness, chapped lips, and a burning or tingling sensation on the tongue can all result from dry mouth. It can also cause bad breath and is therefore sometimes embarrassing to have to deal with. But there’s good news: dry mouth is preventable! Here are a few easy ways to keep dry mouth from causing you discomfort (or something worse).

  • Keep hydrated by drinking water throughout the day – at least 8 8-oz glasses of water is recommended.
  • Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free mints or candies to increase your saliva output.
  • Use a fluoride-based toothpaste when brushing.
  • Use an artificial saliva product: these come either over the counter or prescribed by your dentist or doctor (if you need a particularly strong variety).
  • Use mouthwashes and toothpastes that are designed to treat dry mouth: these can also be found over the counter.
  • Avoid particularly acidic or spicy foods and limit alcohol and caffeine intake: these can exacerbate the lack of saliva.
  • Keep water or ice chips next to your bed at night in the event that you wake up parched.
  • If you snore or sleep with your mouth open, talk to your doctor or dentist about solutions. Sleeping with a mouth guard could be one option.
  • Talk to your doctor about alternative medications if yours is causing dry mouth.

And most of all, don’t be afraid to tell your dentist about your frustrations with dry mouth. Trusted professionals like the dentists and dental hygienists at Absolute Smile are here to help you understand the causes and symptoms of dry mouth, and to help you overcome it.

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