Waking up with an occasional dry mouth is not a cause for alarm, but it may indicate an underlying health condition if it happens regularly. People who often experience dry mouth may find it disrupts their sleep and affects their dental health.
Dry mouth — also known as xerostomia — occurs when a person does not have enough saliva to keep the insides of their mouth moist.
People with dry mouths are
There are many reasons people may wake up with a dry mouth. If the person is feeling stressed or anxious, they may experience a dry mouth, but sometimes it can be a sign of an underlying illness.
This article considers the different causes of dry mouth and explains how people can help avoid it.
- antidepressants and antipsychotics, such as citalopram and haloperidol
- antihistamines, including loratadine
- diuretics, or water tablets
- high blood pressure treatments, including captopril and enalapril
- some types of pain relief, such as opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- sedatives, including diazepam
People should inform a doctor if any side effects persist. Doctors may recommend a different medication or alter the dose to help with dry mouth.
In sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome (SAHS), a person’s airways become partially blocked while sleeping. This condition can make people snore and breathe through their mouths.
According to a
Doctors may prescribe continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy to people with SAHS. However, the above study found that individuals receiving this treatment were more likely to experience dry mouth on waking. Researchers noted that the symptoms usually disappeared during the day.
People receiving radiation therapy in the head and neck area
Some people with autoimmune diseases may experience dry mouth. It is
Other autoimmune diseases that could cause a dry mouth include:
People with diabetes may also experience dry mouth in the mornings if their blood sugar levels are high. The
According to the Alzheimer’s Society in the United Kingdom, people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease may lose the ability to recognize when they are thirsty and may not drink enough liquid to keep them hydrated. This could lead to dry mouth when they wake up.
According to the National Health Service (NHS) in the U.K., dehydration is a common cause of dry mouth when waking up. This could occur from:
Substances such as cigarette smoke, alcohol, and caffeine
Some steps that people can take to prevent waking up with a dry mouth
- cutting down on or eliminating coffee and caffeinated sodas
- avoiding tobacco and alcohol
- chewing sugar-free gum
- sucking sugar-free candy
- increasing fluid intake by drinking more water
- being diligent about oral hygiene
- sucking on ice chips
If this symptom persists, people with dry mouths can consult a doctor to understand the cause and manage any potential underlying diseases. For example, people with diabetes may get advice about how to manage their blood sugar levels.
Doctors may recommend different medications or combinations of medications to treat underlying conditions that can cause dry mouth.
During a diagnosis, a doctor
Waking up with a dry mouth occurs to everyone occasionally, but when it is a regular occurrence, people may experience sore throats, fungal infections, tooth decay, and bad breath.
Some medications, or combinations of medications, can cause dry mouth in the mornings. Doctors may be able to change the dosage or recommend different medications if a person experiences this.
Some underlying conditions — including diabetes, Sjögren disease, and Alzheimer’s disease — can lead to dry mouth.
Keeping hydrated, chewing sugar-free gum, and reducing caffeine and alcohol can help. If a person smokes, stopping smoking may also reduce the symptoms of dry mouth.