If you wake up with feeling extremely thirsty or have a burning sensation in your mouth and tongue, it is likely that you have dry mouth. Many people suffer from dry mouth, and it can be frustrating to wake up every morning feeling parched. Chronic dry mouth can also be painful, and may lead to tooth and gum disease if left untreated. Continue reading to learn more about dry mouth and how to prevent it while sleeping.
Causes and Symptoms
To understand why you may be experiencing dry mouth, it’s important to know the causes and symptoms. Dry mouth is characterized as a lack of saliva, which is crucial to our digestive system and helps break down foods. It also rinses the mouth of bacteria, and without enough saliva, bacteria can stick to the teeth and result in dental problems or infections over time.
Dry mouth isn’t a disease, but it is a symptom of other conditions. Common causes of dry mouth include medication use, smoking, radiation treatment, diseases such as diabetes, and aging. Symptoms typically include feeling very thirsty, having a dry, sticky mouth, chapped lips, a burning or tingling sensation in your mouth and tongue, and bad breath.
Preventing Dry Mouth
Dry mouth mainly occurs while we are sleeping, as many people are more likely to breathe out of their mouth while asleep. While you may need to address underlying health issues that are causing dry mouth, there are plenty of immediate solutions you can try to prevent dry mouth while you sleep. These include drinking more water throughout the day to stay hydrated, chewing sugar-free gum to increase saliva, brush with a fluoride toothpaste, use oral hygiene products designed for dry mouth, and use an artificial saliva product.
If you are a smoker, these solutions may not work, as smoking is a common cause of dry mouth; so quitting smoking is the best way to prevent it. If you believe your dry mouth is a side effect from a medication, talk to your doctor to see if you are able to change medications. Also, be sure to talk to your doctor about any mouth breathing or snoring, as they may be able to help.
Other preventative solutions include using a humidifier to add moisture to the air, avoid acidic or spicy foods, and limit your alcohol and caffeine intake, especially in the evening.
Keep Your Smile Healthy with Affinity
While these tips can help with some tooth and gum sensitivity issues, we know the best way of correcting the problem is to visit your dentist regularly. Affinity Dental, located in Catonsville, MD, has six dentists and provides a variety of services from pediatric dentistry to orthodontics. Affinity Dental is capable of meeting all your needs. With 170 combined years of treating a variety of dental needs, Affinity is committed to providing quality dental care. To get your teeth back into good health and make your smile bright, call us at 410-719-7900 or contact us online. For other useful tips on dental care follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.