The human body is a fantastic design that works efficiently and can fix itself. It can also last for hours without the need to eat and drink, particularly at night when it is supposed to be sleeping and resting. If you wake up one night feeling like your throat is dry and need a glass of water, do not ignore the signs. It could be an indication of a health condition or a sleep disorder.
This article will talk about “dry mouth,” one of the possible health conditions you might suffer if you experience throat dryness at night.
How to Know That You Have Dry Mouth
While consulting a doctor would be the best way to determine if you have a dry mouth or not, it can help if you also know the signs that suggest this condition. Here are some of its most common symptoms:
- Your lips become dry and sometimes cracked
- You develop halitosis or bad breath
- Food tastes different than it usually does
- You experience mouth infections
- Your teeth develop cavities
- You develop gingivitis
- You have a hard time eating, speaking, and even swallowing
Why Does It Occur?
Dry mouth can happen for many reasons. As previously mentioned, it could be caused by certain health conditions or a side effect from some sleep medications. Here are some of the causes of dry mouth.
- You Breathe Through Your Mouth: When your nasal passages are blocked, you have no choice but to breathe through your mouth. That makes air pass through your airways, causing the throat to dry up. These are the most common reasons congestion happens to your nose―allergies, colds, structural problems like enlarged turbinates or deviated nasal septum.
- You Have an Underlying Health Condition: If you have any of the following medical conditions, they could be the reason you experience mouth dryness: diabetes, lupus, or Sjogren’s syndrome.
- You Have a Sleep Disorder: Another reason for breathing through the mouth is a sleep disorder. When a person snores at night, air can pass through the open mouth. Sleep apnea is another possible reason. Wrong posture and drinking alcohol before bedtime are other potential reasons.
What Should You Do If You Have a Dry Mouth?
If you notice any of the symptoms happening to you, the next best thing you can do is consult with your doctor or healthcare provider. They can confirm the real cause behind your problem.
Once you go in for a checkup, here are some of the things you should expect:
- Your doctor will perform a physical exam on you.
- They will request your medical history.
- If needed, they might ask you to do more tests, such as blood tests, urinalysis, glucose tolerance test, dry eyes measure, lips or mouth biopsy, and more.
- Should more studies be needed, expect them also to examine your breathing while you sleep.
How Is It Treated?
The proper treatment depends on what the problem’s root cause is. Regardless of the reason, the primary fix is to ensure adequate airflow through your nose at all times.
Usually, the following are used to treat the dry mouth problem:
- Surgery should there be any structural abnormalities in the nasal passage.
- Use of mouth moisteners for severe dry mouths
- Treatment of the allergy
- CPAP, Oral Appliance or eXciteOSAfor sleep apnea
- Some lifestyle changes such as drinking more water, avoiding sugar, consuming less caffeine, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, and buying a humidifier for the bedroom
Dry mouth at night may seem like a simple problem that can be fixed by drinking a glass of water or two. But, in the worst-case scenario, it can be a telltale sign of a severe health or sleeping condition. This article gave you a glimpse of what dry mouth is about. Should you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, make sure to visit your doctor or the nearest sleep center to have your condition checked.
If you are looking for a trusted sleep clinic in Vancouver, you are on the right page. Sleep Better Live Better is a qualified sleep team that has helped find healthy sleep solutions for thousands of patients in the Lower Mainland and throughout BC. Book a consultation and let us help you get the restful sleep you need!