U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A male asked:

Why do i get a dry mouth while sleeping? i drink water when i awake in middle of night when these symptoms are present

5 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Joy Jackson
Family Medicine 21 years experience
The : The simple answer is a dry mouth while sleeping is caused by a lack of saliva, and from sleeping with your mouth open. You can try drinking water throughout the day and evening to keep yourself hydrated. This should help. If the problem persists or occurs during the day, you might be dealing with another issue, and you would likely benefit from a visit to your primary care provider.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Mark Agrama
A Verified Doctoranswered
25 years experience
Why : Why do I get a dry mouth while sleeping? A dry mouth, or xerostomia, that occurs while sleeping can arise from several factors. The normal flow of saliva into the mouth slows considerably during sleep. People also tend to drink much less fluids before and during the sleep period. But, the mouth is typically protected from drying by remaining closed and decreased swallowing while asleep. The bothersome feeling of a dry mouth, however, suggests that there may be a problem. Many medications and supplements can have a dehydrating effect and increase dryness. Mouthwashes can also be a factor as they frequently contain alcohol which further dries the mouth. Tobacco products can reduce saliva flow and disrupt the normal flow of mucus in the mouth and throat. A simple review of medications and products may lead to the source of the dryness. Another process leading to xerostomia is altered breathing. Normally, airflow occurs through the nose into the throat during sleep. Any congestion or blockages in those areas can lead to the mouth opening for air. Many factors such as allergies, respiratory infections, deviated septum, enlarged turbinates, enlarged tonsils and adenoids, bruxism (tooth grinding), and dental appliances can affect normal airflow. Once the mouth opens in an effort to breathe, the surfaces can quickly dry. The dryness may be the first symptom of a serious disruption of breathing such as sleep apnea. Medical problems affecting the saliva glands can also produce xerostomia. Sjogren's disease is an autoimmune condition affecting the production of tears and saliva. Xerostomia is seen often in patients with diabetes or parkinson's disease. Finally, radiation therapy to the saliva glands or systemic chemotherapy can lead to severe longterm dryness. Your physician can help you evaluate and treat dry mouth symptoms. More importantly, xerostomia may be the first symptom of a serious medical problem.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Aaron Milstone
Pulmonology 29 years experience
I : I agree with both doctors who have answered this question already. I would also add that dry mouth can be associated with sleep apnea/snoring. If you have significant daytime sleepiness and snore at night you need to ask your health care provider about the possibility of obstructive sleep apnea (osa).
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Sami Latif
Dentistry 39 years experience
Meds : Do you take medications before you go to bed, the most common cause of dry mouth are meds, or auto immune disese , need to be evaluated by both and md and dds.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Kenneth Grossman
A Verified Doctoranswered
Endodontics 46 years experience
Mouth breathing: In addition to dr. Latifs answer, mouth breathing can cause this. Snoring can also cause. Mouth and throat dryness.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Oct 4, 2016


Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.