Thứ Hai, 14 tháng 10, 2013

Dry Mouth at Night – Causes and Treatment

Dry Mouth at Night – Causes and Treatment

What is a Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth is a problem that the majority of us have had at least one time in our life and probably more. It also is referred to as hyposalivation, xerostomia, or asialorrhea. Many individuals are reluctant to give their partners a kiss in the morning before first brushing their teeth because of morning breath which is caused in part by dry mouth. For many individuals, dry mouth is not a major concern but for others it is a problem that is continuing.

Dry Mouth Causes

Salivary Glands
Dry mouth is usually caused by the salivary glands not able to efficiently function and create enough amounts of saliva. If an individual is taking any type of medication, it could be the reason for having dry mouth. Medications that cause dryness of the mouth include:

  • Decongestants

  • Muscle relaxants

  • Antihistamines

  • Chemotherapy drugs

  • Antispasmodics

However, there are individuals who have salivary glands that are functioning perfectly and are not taking any medications and still suffer from dry mouth.

Individuals need acceptable amounts of saliva in order to prevent infection by managing the bacteria and fungi in the mouth by its antimicrobial action and also it helps digest food. Saliva has antibodies known as muco-proteins, and this creates the slimy sensation; as well as enzymes, but is mostly ninety-eight (98) percent water. This saliva also has an important role in the health of teeth. It decreases the acidity or pH level of waste products that produce plaque. Because of this, saliva reduces the chance of decay of the teeth that can occur due to acid attacks which happens because of these waste products. Saliva washes remains out of the mouth. It is thought that this debris, when it stays in the mouth, provides a food supply for bacteria that is found in plaque. If there is any damage to enamel of the teeth, saliva offers systemic minerals and fluorides that aids in replacing the minerals of the enamel that is damaged.

Physical Concerns
Dry mouth is a red flag for other physical problems. For instance if an individual is diabetic and the disease is being poorly managed this can cause dry mouth during the night or dry mouth can be a sign that the individual has diabetes. Other diseases which cause dry mouth, not only during the night but during the day as well – these are viral and bacterial infections and Sjogren’s syndrome, all of which have an influence on the flow of saliva. Other problems that affect the saliva flow include:

  • Bell’s palsy

  • Tumors

  • Salivary gland stones

  • Depression


  • Parkinson’s disease

If an individual is undergoing radiation therapy or hemodialysis, these also cause severe dry mouth.

If an individual has nighttime and daytime dry mouth that is chronic, he/she needs to undergo a physician exam to found out if they have oral candidiasis, or any dental problems. Dental problems due to dry mouth cause the decalcification of enamel of the teeth which leads to cavities. Dry mouth can also be a symptom of the following:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Cirrhosis

  • Thyroid disease

  • Diabetes

Vitamin Deficiencies
Often nighttime and daytime dry mouth can be caused by a lack of the following vitamins: detect diseases at an early stage symptoms, and find out the causes and treatments best suited.

  • Iron

  • Vitamin B6

  • Zinc

  • Calcium

  • Fiber

  • Potassium

Dry Mouth Treatment

Because dry mouth is caused by a multitude of reasons, there are different ways to treat it. If an individual’s physician or dentist is able to diagnose the cause of mouth dryness, he/she will be able to help the individual with a cure. The problem is that is easier said than done.

If the dryness is because of medications, it could be possible for the doctor to advise the individual to stop the drugs, reduce their amount or switch to another medication that might not have dry mouth as a side effect.

When the dryness is due to any specific disease such as diabetes, the proper management of the disease could decrease the dryness of the mouth.

It is also advisable to sip water or other sugar free liquids frequently. It is likewise important to drink while eating as this aids chewing and swallowing and can even enhance the taste of the food. An individual can also carry a water bottle with them during the day as well as keeping a glass of water at the bedside at night.

An individual can stimulate the flow of saliva by:

  • Eating foods which require mastication

  • Chewing sugarless gum

  • If possible, acid-tasting, sugarless candies

  • Sucking on a cherry or olive pit or the rind of a lemon or line

Studies done recently have found that drugs called Pilocarpine (Salagen) and Cevimeline (Evoxac) can lessen the sensation of oral dryness in the mouth. These drugs are usually taken three (3) to four (4) times a day, after meals, and their effects normally last from two (2) to four (4) hours. Any side-effects are usually modest. These drugs when combined with other ways to stimulate saliva flow have made it able for the majority of individuals to find relief from dry mouth.

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