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Waking Up with Dry Mouth


There are a lot of people who wake up with a dry mouth, feeling the acute need to drink lots of water. This problem can impact bodily functions, such as swallowing, chewing food or speaking. According to certain medical studies, it seems that dry mouth is also a common cause of teeth problems. If the condition is not treated, then one can develop bad breath and feel uncomfortable around other people. One will avoid talking to other people, suffering from embarrassment.

When you wake up with a dry mouth, this means that your body does not produce enough saliva during the night. In general, having a dry mouth is a condition presented in the medical field as xerostomia. The dry mouth can appear because of various reasons, being often caused by medication (side-effect). It is important to talk to your doctor about the medication that you are taking, making sure that you are informed about potential side-effects.

People who complain of having a dry mouth right after they have woken from sleep describe the sensation as if they had cotton balls in their mouths. Sometimes, a burning or tingling sensation may accompany the feeling of dryness. The tongue can feel as if it was made out of leather and the condition can generate a lot of discomfort. The discomfort can appear when the person tries to talk, chew or swallow food. The lips and the throat might also be dry; plus, because of all the dryness, canker sores can appear inside the mouth.


These are the most common causes that lead to waking up with dry mouth:


  • This is the number one cause
  • The dry mouth is a side-effect of many medications
  • Be sure to check the prospect of any medication and talk to your doctor about the potential side-effects
  • Request for alternative medication that does not have this side-effect
  • Do not interrupt the medication without talking to the doctor first

Sjögren’s syndrome

  • Chronic autoimmune disease
  • The exocrine glands are destroyed by the aggressive immune system
  • Affects the mucous membranes, leading to dry mouth and dry eyes, among other modifications


  • Waking up with a dry mouth is a frequent symptom of type 2 diabetes (diabetes mellitus)
  • This is a sign that the blood sugar levels are too high
  • Patients also present excessive thirst


  • Patients infected with HIV or those suffering from AIDS often wake up with a dry mouth
  • Their glands do not produce enough saliva
  • The chewing and swallowing processes are difficult because of these modifications


  • Depression can often cause physical symptoms, including dry mouth

High blood pressure

  • The condition leads to a wide range of modifications
  • Patients wake up with dry mouth and a feeling of dizziness

Other causes

  • Stress, anxiety or fear
  • Degenerative disease – Alzheimer’s disease
  • Chronic adrenal insufficiency – Addison’s disease
  • Diseases of the liver – cirrhosis (alcoholic)
  • Infection of the salivary glands
  • Generalized state of dehydration

Treatment for Waking Up with Dry Mouth

These are the most common courses of treatment undertaken for waking up with dry mouth:


  • Topical administration
  • Home prescription
  • Administered in precise quantities, so as not to damage the teeth


  • Recommended by the dentist
  • Antibacterial or antiviral properties, in order to prevent the growth of bacteria or viruses inside the mouth
  • Daily usage is indicated for the best results

Treatment of dental problems

  • Restoring of teeth decay
  • Plaque removal
  • Correction of ill-fitted dentures
  • Excellent oral hygiene – as instructed by the dentist
    • Regular brushing of the teeth
    • Flossing

Apart from the treatment, there are certain measures that you can take yourself, in order to improve the condition:

  • Drink plenty of water
    • Make sure that you increase your intake during the day
    • Drink water with each meal that you are taking
    • Keep a bottle by your bed during the night
  • Do not drink water that is either too hot or too cold, as this can damage the mouth tissues, causing them to become dry
  • Avoid drinks that contain a high quantity of sugar, especially if you are suffering from diabetes
  • Do not drink beverages that have a lot of acid, as these will only aggravate the dry mouth condition (do not hydrate the body)
  • Chew gum or suck on a candy (no sugar), as this will stimulate the production of saliva and it will prevent the mouth from becoming dry when waking up in the morning
  • Avoid using mouthwashes that contain alcohol, as these can lead to dehydration as well
  • Sleep during the night with an air humidifier by your side; it will moisten the air in the room and it will prevent the mouth from becoming dry.

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