Saliva keeps our mouths lubricated, helping us speak and eat, and keeping our lips, tongue, and teeth healthy by washing away microbes and preventing the formation of dry sores. 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 inspect 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
There can be four factors that contribute to an unusually dry mouth:
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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.
Diabetes and cancer can cause your body to attack its 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 obvious. 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.
The diminished functioning of salivary glands can also cause dry mouth because of excessive consumption of alcohol, smoking, depression and anxiety, radiation and chemotherapy, and aging. Pregnant women and nursing mothers can also get dry mouths because of their hormonal changes. Below are some lifestyle improvement tips to provide a respite from the 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 for saliva stimulants
Make it a habit to drink a cup of herbal tea before going to bed. It will help stimulate 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 fluoride toothpaste, use a fluoride rinse, and visit your dentist regularly.
Consider using oral care products specifically made for a dry mouth at night.
Dry mouths not only cause irritation in the throat, but they can also cause sleep deprivation (as you wake up multiple times in the night because of thirst), and have serious health concerns. That said, it’s seldom a critical condition and can be treated easily with the home remedies mentioned above. If, however, it persists, see your doctor immediately.