Causes of Dry Mouth at Night

By zenaidawind / October 21, 2021

Causes of Dry Mouth at Night:

Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is related to a condition in which the salivary glands in your mouth don't make enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. It is often due to the side effects of certain medications or aging issues, or radiation therapy for cancer.

If you are one of the many people who suffer from dry mouth, you may be looking for answers to help you find relief. The causes of dry mouth vary depending on your age, gender, and even where you are in your life.

For example, some causes are usually brought on by medical issues such as allergies or tooth decay. Other causes of dry mouth are more of a lifestyle issue, such as not cleaning your mouth after eating or drinking certain things like coffee or alcohol. Although there are many different causes for dry mouth, treatment for it is generally the same for all of them, not having enough saliva formation.

To seek treatment for your mouth disease, you need to understand the symptoms and how they affect you. First of all, you should know what causes dry mouth in the first place.

Common reasons for Dry Mouth:

Some of the most common reasons you have are

  • Unhealthy dry Mouth/ Saliva Production:

If your saliva production is naturally low, it can lead to dryness. People whose saliva production is naturally low are often the ones who are prone to having dental cavities. Suppose you regularly consume sugary foods and drink lots of soda or alcoholic beverages. In that case, you may be putting yourself at risk for dry mouth because you will not be getting enough saliva to buffer your mouth and remove harmful bacteria. An alternative to this is to use a humidifier or an air purifier to keep your saliva levels up and hydrate your mouth.

  • Cancer:

Cancer patients are prone to dry mouth (xerostomia), especially after radiation therapy treatment to the head and neck. Whatever the underlying cause, dry mouth is painful and can set the scene for tooth decay, infections, cavities and even cancer. Finding a treatment that will help you get relief can be a challenge, but several remedies can be effective for those who suffer from dry mouth disease.

  • Poor Oral Health:

Other causes can include tooth decay, poor oral hygiene, sinus infections and allergies. Each reason has its own set of symptoms that need to be addressed when treating the mouth disease condition.

If you are currently experiencing symptoms associated with a dry mouth or other mouth diseases, you should consult your doctor and dental treatment. Dry mouth is an indicator of an underlying condition or disease with poor oral health. You should take a trip to your regular doctor and get diagnosed with any dental issues that could be causing the disease in your mouth. Please do not be embarrassed about this because it is not your fault. There are many diseases and conditions that you can develop without you knowing about them. Suppose you do not brush or floss your teeth properly. You should visit your doctor as soon as possible to find out if any other dental problems could be causing your dry mouth.

If you are suffering from any other mouth symptoms besides the ones listed above, then you must discuss these symptoms with your oral health care provider. In most cases, the underlying cause of dry mouth will be corrected through one of the natural remedies that your doctor may recommend to treat dental problems.

Many different factors can cause dry mouth. Some of these factors may cause a constant dry mouth, while others may temporarily dry your mouth.

  • Aging:

Many older people may experience dry mouth as they get older. The main factors include the use of certain medications, changes in the body's performance to deal with medications, insufficient nutrition, and treating long-term health diseases.

  • Cancer Therapies:

Chemotherapy drugs can alter the nature of saliva and the amount produced in your mouth. It may be temporary, with normal salivary flow returning after treatment is completed. Treatment Radiation to your head and neck can damage your salivary glands, causing a remarkable decrease in saliva production in your mouth. It may be temporary or permanent, depending on the radiation dose and area treated.

  • Nerve Injury:

Any injury or surgery that causes nerve damage to your head and neck can result in dry mouth and other mouth diseases.

  • Health Complications:

Dry mouth can be caused due to some health conditions, such as diabetes, stroke, yeast infection (thrush) in your mouth or Alzheimer's disease. It may also occur due to autoimmune diseases, such as Sjogren's syndrome or HIV/AIDS. 

Snoring and breathing with your open mouth also can cause you to keep your mouth dry.

  • Tobacco and Alcohol Consumption:

Drinking alcohol and smoking or chewing tobacco can enhance dry mouth symptoms.

  • Recreational Drug Use:

Methamphetamine use can cause severe dry mouth, damage to teeth and many other mouth complications, a condition also known as "meth mouth." Marijuana also can cause dry mouth.

Dry Mouth Symptoms:

There are several symptoms of dry mouth, including inflammation and redness of gums, which you should watch for if you are experiencing dry mouth.

Symptoms of Dry Mouth:

in many adults, a dry mouth may experience symptoms like:

  • a mild or severe sore throat
  • burning in your mouth
  • difficulty swallowing
  • difficulty speaking
  • hoarseness
  • dryness in your nose and nasal passageways
  • dryness in the mouth
  • dysgeusia, or taste disorders
  • fungal infections in the mouth, such as thrush
  • glossodynia, or a painful tongue
  • increased need to drink water, especially at night
  • inflammation of the tongue, tongue ulcers
  • lipstick sticking to teeth in your mouth
  • more frequent gum disease
  • more tooth decay and plaque
  • problems speaking
  • problems of mouth like swallowing and chewing – especially dry and crumbly foods, such as crackers or cereals
  • problems wearing dentures – problems with denture retention, denture sores, and the tongue sticking to the palate inside the mouth
  • sialadenitis, a salivary gland infection in the mouth
  • a sore throat
  • sticky and stringy saliva production in the mouth

Dry mouth can also cause:

  • poor nutrition
  • dental problems, such as gum disease, cavities, and tooth loss
  • psychological distress, such as anxiety, stress, or depression
  • an impaired sense of taste

Some of the symptoms of xerostomia include dizziness, a pounding heart and difficulty talking. If you don't get medical attention, you could damage your throat or vocal cords. There are effective treatments for this condition, but you should never ignore the symptoms. If you suspect that you have a dry mouth, contact your doctor immediately and schedule an appointment for dental treatment.

First, the appearance of your teeth and gums will be inflamed, and you may notice bleeding from the gums. When your doctor checks for dehydration, he will check the level of dehydration in your mouth. Signs of extreme dehydration include swollen or red gums, a discolored tongue, and a whitish or leathery taste in the mouth, causing dry mouth.

If you have severe symptoms of dry mouth, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Treatments for Dry Mouth:

There are some basic treatments suggested to treat dry mouth and maintain good oral health. Although you need proper medical care for the treatment of your dry mouth but immediate help, you can also use the listed products:


A lot of alcohol mouthwashes contain alcohol which will cause you to have a dry mouth. It would be great if you only used mouthwashes with alcohol that is 100% pure to prevent dry mouth, as some alcohol mouthwashes are made with a small amount of alcohol to add the extra cleansing benefits. These mouthwashes are good for flushing out bacteria, enhancing saliva production and removing the harmful effects of alcohol, but they will cause you to have a dry mouth.

Caffeine Intake:

Caffeine intake is one thing that can be adjusted to improve the moisture in your mouth and the best treatment for dry mouth disease. So you should try to limit your intake of tea, coffee, soda, and chocolate if you have been consuming these beverages daily. More than one out of ten individuals suffer from severe dry mouth.

Saltwater Mouth-wash:

One of the best ways to help ease the discomfort of dry mouth is to use a saltwater mouth -wash. Many brands of this type of oral rinse are available at most drug stores and beauty supply stores. They typically come in a bottle that resembles a sports drink and is easy to swallow. These products can help to moisten the mouth and relieve the drying effect. You can also find oral rinses for sore throats and those used to help relieve dry lips and keep your oral health on point.

Use of Saliva Substitutes:

Another great way to treat dry mouth and maintain good health is to purchase over-the-counter saliva substitutes. Some of these products contain xylitol, which is beneficial for those suffering from dry mouth because it helps prevent tooth decay by protecting the teeth.
Saliva plays an important role in removing particles from the mouth, and they help strengthen teeth and fight off infection. The xylitol found in these products works to encourage saliva production and help replace the moisture that is lost when you are eating hard foods.

Use of Desensitizing Paste:

If you don't feel comfortable trying one of these over-the-counter products, you may want to visit your doctor for dental treatment. Many doctors can create a desensitizing paste designed to reduce the dry mouth signs associated with xerostomia, which helps treat your oral health. In most cases, you can wear a mask while your doctor does the procedure to make sure you don't breathe in the solution. However, it is important to make sure that your doctor has explained the process completely to you before he starts.

Humidifiers to Prevent Dry Mouth:

Humidifiers are very effective when it helps to treat dry mouth or xerostomia. It is because a humidifier will add moisture to your mouth, and it will help to moisten your pharynx and tonsils and enhance the saliva. When your tonsils and pharynx are moist, it will be easier for you to breathe. You must consult with your health carer if you do not currently use a humidifier. If you are currently using one, you should start using one daily for dry mouth treatment to enhance salivary gland activity to produce more saliva.

Brush and Flossing Substitutes:

Using saliva substitutes instead of brushing and flossing will help to kill harmful bacteria from your mouth. If you do not perform brushing and flossing regularly, you may be at risk for dry mouth. Saliva is needed to help remove food particles, keep your teeth white and make your mouth more healthy. If you do not produce enough saliva, you will not be able to remove food particles effectively. It would help if you took a natural hygiene regime daily. If you do not use saliva substitutes, you must consult your healthcare provider to find out if there are any other remedies to help you reduce the risks of dry mouth. An adequate amount of saliva production will help prevent bacteria attacks and keep your mouth hydrated. These substitutes are the best treatment for dry mouth.

Medications To Treat Dry Mouth:

If you have a mouth full of a sore jaw or cracked lips from medication, you should see your doctor as soon as possible for valid treatment. Apply the recommendations for treatment above. The doctor may be able to provide you with a special formula or saltwater mouth-wash that will provide temporary relief to your mouth.
Unfortunately, some medications - such as sedatives - will not work if applied to the mouth's surface. For this reason, it is important always to let your doctor know what medications you are currently using and whether they will have an adverse reaction when used in conjunction with any other dental disease.
The condition of dry mouth can sometimes be caused by overusing certain medications such as pain relievers, antibiotics and aspirin. If you take these medications for an extended period, your mouth may become drier than it once was.

Home remedies for dry mouth:

  1. Drink a lot of water. Sipping a lot of water and staying hydrated can help relieve dry
  2. mouth and maintain your oral health.
  3. Avoid certain medications
  4. Kick dehydrating habits
  5. Suck on sugarless candies and cookies
  6. Chew sugarless gum
  7. Improve overall oral health
  8. Use alcohol-free mouth-wash.
  9. Avoid breathing through your mouth.

Tips for good oral hygiene

  1. If you have a dry mouth, it's important to take steps to keep your mouth clean and maintain oral health. It can help you avoid dental problems and yeast infections such as oral thrush.
  2. Methods to maintain your oral health include:
  • brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a gentle toothpaste
  • flossing and using fluoride daily
  • seeing your dentist regularly for cleaning of your mouth
  • eating yogurt regularly, which may help prevent yeast growth in the mouth
  • rinsing your mouth after using inhaled medication
  • keeping blood sugar levels well managed


Consult with your doctor or dentist if you may notice mild signs of dry mouth.

These signs include:

  • dry feeling in your mouth and throat
  • thick saliva production
  • roughness of tongue
  • often lips are cracked
  • trouble in chewing or swallowing food
  • changes in the taste buds
  • bad breathing

If you observe that medications are causing your dry mouth or notice other signs of an underlying condition, make an appointment with your doctor.

Your doctor can ask for blood tests and measure the amount of saliva you produce in your mouth to help find out the cause of your dry mouth and another oral disease. Then suggest treatment options to maintain your oral health.

If you are experiencing dry mouth, it's also important to see your dentist to check for signs of tooth decay.

You can also take care of your dry mouth at home. If symptoms remain constant for a long time, talk to your doctor. They can check for any undergoing conditions or change medications that might be causing your symptoms.

If you have dry mouth disease, make sure to take good care of your teeth by brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist regularly. It can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease caused by dry mouth.