Our mouths are kept lubricated by saliva, helping us speak and eat, and keeping our lips, tongue, and teeth healthy by washing away microbes and preventing the formation of dry sores. Nonetheless, we all feel a little parched when we wake up in the morning, not just during summers or in a dry climate, and there is nothing innately wrong with that. However, if you notice one or more of the below-mentioned symptoms, it may be time to take a closer look at the issue as it may be a symptom of low salivary gland activity or dehydration:
- Persistent dry mouth that causes you to wake up 3-4 times in the night
- Problems speaking or trouble tasting, chewing and swallowing
- Dental cavities and bad breath that can’t be explained by lack of poor oral hygiene
- Excessively sticky and dry feeling in the mouth with a dry, red tongue
- Dry sores cracked lips or split skin in the corners of the mouth
- Hoarseness, dry nasal passages, sore throat, and problems speaking without getting a drink of water
Generally speaking, there can be four factors that contribute to an unusually dry mouth:
Some medications can cause excessively dry mouth in the patients. These may include medicines that are designed to dry out normally moist tissues, such as those for allergies and common antihistamines. Diuretic tablets used for treating hypertension and depression medications can also cause a dry mouth. [ You may Be Interested to read this: Why Does Bad Breath Happen? ]
Diabetes and cancer can cause your body to attack its own salivary glands, and while salivary glands are not directly affected by strokes or Alzheimer’s, dry mouth can occur in these states as well.Ironically, dry mouths in these cases can be further exacerbated by the medications taken to treat these conditions.
This is an obvious one. What is less obvious, though, is that you might get dehydrated without even realizing it. Not drinking enough water is not the only way your body can become dehydrated – excessive sweating, fever, vomiting, blood loss, or even diarrhea can also cause dehydration and hence dry mouth.
Dry mouth can also be caused by the diminished functioning of salivary glands as a result of excessive consumption of alcohol, smoking, depression and anxiety, radiation and chemotherapy, and aging. Pregnant women and nursing mothers can also get dry mouth due to their hormonal changes. [ You may Be Interested to read this: 8 Ways To Get Rid Of A Stuffy Nose ]
Below are some lifestyle improvement tips to provide respite from dry mouth at night:
- If you live in an ultra-dry climate or use heating or air-conditioning all night long, consider using a humidifier
- Avoid alcohol, coffee, dairy products, and other foods that make saliva thicker. Especially avoid them at night.
- Aloe-vera, ginger, fennel seeds, cardamom, grapeseed oil, and lemon are all easily available saliva stimulants
- Make it a habit of to drink a cup of herbal tea before going to bed. It will help stimulates the salivary glands.
- Consider using sugar-free candies, sugar-free gums, or another over-the-counter artificial saliva substitute.
- Drink plenty of water, brush with a fluoride toothpaste, use a fluoride rinse, and visit your dentist regularly.
- Consider using oral care products specifically made for dry mouth at night.
Dry mouths not only cause you irritation in the throat, they can also cause sleep deprivation (as you wake up multiple times in the night because of the thirst), and have serious health concerns. That said, it’s seldom a critical condition and can be treated easily with home remedies mentioned above. If, however, it still persists, see your Doctor immediately. [ You may Be Interested to read this: Typhoid Fever Symptoms And Vaccination ]