Do most of your mornings start with an extremely-dry mouth or painful throat? Do you experience interrupted sleep, waking up, again and again, looking for water to moist your parched throat and tongue? It is possible you may have bad breath even though you practice a good oral hygiene regimen. Or the condition making your night miserable may be a dry mouth.        

Dry mouth or throat while sleeping have obvious signs, but it is not easy to understand its causes. This article will help you learn what dry mouth is, the related causes and symptoms, and some of the best ways to minimize and prevent nighttime dry mouth.  

What is a Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth is also known as xerostomia. It is an oral condition that impacts the normal working of your salivary glands, which are now producing less saliva and your mouth and throat keep getting dry all night. The salivary glands may not produce enough saliva or stop producing anything at all.    

Dry mouth is characterized as a health condition, but it doesn’t start on its own. Instead, it is induced by other diseases or actions. Nerves damage, pregnancy, blood pressure drugs, and antidepressants are some causes of dry mouth while sleeping.   

Symptoms of Dry Mouth

 Each person is in a different state of health which is why the symptoms of dry mouth vary for each individual. Below is a list of the most common symptoms of dry mouth at night: 

  • Dryness
  • Dry throat
  • Thick sticky accumulation of saliva in the mouth upon waking
  • Dried up lips
  • Waking up with bad breath
  • Stringy or thick saliva 
  • Persistent urge to drink water
  • Dryness in the mouth, making breathing difficult 
  • Grooved tongue
  • Cavities

In the daytime, dry mouth can have some added symptoms. These include: 

  • Weird taste in your mouth or your meals tasting differently 
  • Hoarseness
  • You may find it hard to chew, swallow or speak
  • Pain that gets worse when wearing dentures
  • Bitter taste in the mouth

What Causes Dry Mouth at Night

 Breathing through the nose or snoring due to inflamed or clogged nasal passages

  • Chemotherapy
  • Chewing or smoking tobacco
  • Aging
  • Diabetes 
  • High intake of caffeine 
  • Wearing dental appliances such as retainers or bite splints
  • Use of CPAP machine for sleep apnea treatment 
  • Oral thrush
  • Radiation
  • Stroke
  • Nerve damage
  • Trauma to the head or neck due to injury or surgery 

Certain medications can also cause dry mouth at night, including:

  • Blood pressure medication
  • Decongestants
  • Beta-blockers
  • Anti-hypertensives
  • Anti-anxiety drugs 
  • Antihistamines
  • Pain medications
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Diuretics
  • Bronchodilators
  • Antidepressants
  • Antacids

Why Do I Wake Up With A Dry Mouth

There are several reasons why your mouth is so dry when you wake up. One simple reason is that your body produces less saliva during sleep as compared to the daytime. This means that the production of salivary glands minimizes even more when the moon is up. The second reason for this change is that many individuals breathe more through their mouths while sleeping. The inhaling and exhaling of air make the mouth drier.  

You can easily notice if your mouth is getting dry during the daytime. You may drink plenty of water or other fluids or eat juicy meals, so your mouth doesn’t feel dried up. But when you’re asleep, there’s no way to know how dry your mouth is, and you only realize it when you wake up in the middle of the night grabbing for your water bottle.  

How to Prevent Dry Mouth While Sleeping

 Several lifestyle changes and medications are available to help you reduce or prevent dry mouth at night. It’s only up to you if you want to incorporate any one of the remedies or try multiple to find relief. 

Treatments for Nighttime Dry Mouth

Making some simple changes to your daily routine can help a lot in relieving dry mouth while sleeping. 

  • Drink water throughout the day and avoid eating foods containing too much salt when you’re close to your bedtime. Spicy, acidic, and sugary food items can also create trouble.  
  • Always keep a water bottle next to you when sleeping so that in case you feel thirsty or feel your mouth is dry, you can sip some water right away rather than going to the kitchen to grab a glass of water, ending up disturbing your sleep. 
  • Monitor how much caffeine you consume throughout the day. Try to cut down caffeine intake, especially at night, as it can worsen dry mouth. Try a cup of decaf coffee and see if it brings any improvements. 
  • Use a humidifier in your room while sleeping to keep the air moist.
  • Be mindful of breathing through your nose. This will take some practice and effort but eventually will become a habit.  
  • A mouthwash that contains alcohol can dry up your mouth. So it’s better to go for alcohol-free mouthwash.  
  • Over-the-counter decongestants or antihistamines can also cause dry mouth. Try to avoid them.
  • Avoid chewing or smoking tobacco.
  • Suck on sugar-free candy or chew sugar-free gum 
  • Products like saliva-stimulating lozenges and dry mouth toothpaste can also help.
  • Reduce or eliminate the use of alcohol 
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste and/or use a fluoride rinse.
  • Try dry mouth moisturizing spray.
  • Use nasal sprays to open clogged nose for improved breathing.
  • If you suspect any medication you are taking is causing your dry mouth at night, consult your doctor or dentist and ask for alternative medicines. 


Good oral health is the key to improved overall health and an active and fit body. Leaving the dry mouth untreated can lead to several conditions that can become problematic for you or your loved ones. Before seeking medical help, exploring some home remedies is always a good option. However, if you have a dry mouth at night but it doesn’t get better with home treatments, consult your doctor or dentist right away. Rodeo Dental & Orthodontics is located at multiple locations; schedule an appointment with the one nearest to you. We would love to help you keep your mouth moist so you can enjoy a good night’s sleep and celebrate your day to the fullest.    

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