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How to Prevent and Relieve Dry Mouth at Night

Achieving a relaxing and refreshing night’s sleep can be a challenge when experiencing a dry mouth. A dry mouth is caused by insufficient saliva in the mouth to keep the mouth lubricated and moisturized. It happens when the salivary glands do not produce enough saliva to keep the mouth humid. It causes great discomfort disrupting sleep and resulting in negative effects to your dental health. This is because, it is a natural agent in the mouth to help combat acids and bacteria that cause tooth decay. It also helps fight bad breath.

The medical term for this condition is xerostomia and it is more of a symptom than any disorder. It usually indicates an underlying problem or that your mouth reacts to things you take.

Signs of dry mouth include:


  • Constant thirst and waking up at night or from sleep to drink water
  • Mouth sores and cracked lips
  • A sticky feeling in your mouth and throat as well as sticky or string like saliva
  • A dry tongue or a burning sensation on the tongue
  • Bad breath
  • Mouth infections
  • Trouble in chewing, tasting, speaking and swallowing
  • Frequent tooth decay


There are several causes of dry mouth at night. The main cause is using your mouth to breathe at night. Aside from habit, you may be breathing through your mouth because you are using a range of orthodontic appliances like bite splinters and dental retainers. Snoring, breathing difficulties and using a CPAP mask can also make you resort to breathing through the mouth.

Barrie Dentist
Barrie Dentist

Other causes of a dry mouth

Medication– Several prescribed and over the counter drugs cause dry mouth as a side effect. Relaxants and pain relievers are a major cause for mouth dryness. Drugs taken by older people are also another group likely to result in xerostomia.

Cancer treatments– Chemotherapy and radiation therapy result in dry mouth. This is because they affect the mouth glands which take time to return to normal function after the treatment. In some cases radiation therapy may affect the glands permanently.

Health conditions– Some health conditions may cause an increase in the frequency of dry mouth instances. Autoimmune diseases are the leading conditions in this case.

Tobacco use– Smoking or chewing tobacco causes the person to have a dry mouth and mostly at night


There are several home remedies your Barrie dentist can prescribe to help you relieve dry mouth. Some of them may involve you changing your drinking habits.

  • Stop tobacco smoking and chewing
  • Increase your fluid intake especially during the day. Take smoothies, water  and consume juicy fruits.
  • Avoid foods and snacks high in sugar and salt. Use sugar free chewing gum.
  • Practice breathing through the nose instead of mouth
  • Reduce your caffeine intake as it makes the mouth drier
  • Purchase saliva substitutes or products which stimulate saliva. Avoid those which contain decongestants and antihistamines.
  • Use seeds and herbs at home which provide relief from dry mouth.
  • These include aloe vera, ginger, fennel seeds, cardamom, grape seed oil and cayenne pepper.
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