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Obstructive sleep apnea patients are often treated with CPAP devices or oral appliances. Both oral appliance and CPAP patients may experience dry mouth for various reasons. The condition of dry mouth, lack of saliva, is also known as xerostomia.
Today, we will review tips and products that may help in coping with dry mouth experienced not only during sleep time, but also residual dry mouth symptoms that occur during the day.
Mask leaks and sleeping with open mouths can contribute to dry mouth conditions in CPAP users.
Adjusting masks, changing mask types, adding chin straps or CPAP humidifiers are some of the most common solutions for relieving dry mouth in CPAP users.
Other obstructive sleep apnea patients choose to treat apnea with oral appliances. Oral appliances are professional dental sleep mouthguards that prevent the jaw and associated tissues from drifting back and blocking the airway.
Oral appliance patients may also experience dry mouth if their device allows the freedom for the lower jaw to drop open.
Some device designs have features to allow small elastics to be added that keep the mouth closed during use. Some types of oral appliances include designs that restrict any mouth openings at all.
If your current appliance has elastic hook accommodations, make sure to check out these elastics, they may be helpful.
Ask your CPAP supplier or sleep apnea dentist for guidance if the causes listed above are suspected.
In addition to the causes listed above, other reasons for dry mouth in both CPAP and oral appliance users may involve medication side effects, Sjögren’s syndrome and other medical conditions.
Your physician or dentist may evaluate your symptoms and suggest best treatment options.
Here are some tips and suggestions to help prevent dry mouth.
- Sip water, sugarless drinks, or suck on ice chips
- Avoid irritants: such as alcohol, tobacco and caffeine
- Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free candy
- Avoid salty or spicy foods
- Use a humidifier at night
- Use sugar-free salivary stimulants
Gum, Mints and Tablets
The regular use of sugarless gums, mints, and candies can help stimulate salivary flow. Mints, lozenges, and candies should dissolve slowly in the mouth. Avoid products that contain sugar. Sugar increases the risk of cavities.
Instead of sugar, products containing xylitol may be recommended. Xylitol is a natural sweetener that interferes with the growth of bacteria and prevents acid production known to cause tooth decay. Xylitol is safe for everyone and approved as a therapeutic sweetener by the FDA.
- Spry Gum: – Made with 100% xylitol. Can be used as part of your defense against dental caries. It has a fresh taste and moisturizes your mouth.
- Spry Mints: Made with 100% xylitol instead of corn syrup and sugar. Xylitol sweetener is derived from the fibrous parts of plants, similar in taste to regular organic sugar. No filler, flow agents or other sugar additives are present.
- Spry Alcohol-free Mouthwash: Natural Herbal Mint, Healing Blend
- Crest Pro-Health Rinse: Reduces plaque and bacteria. This rinse also prevents gingivitis while refreshing your breath. It is alcohol-free.
Sprays, Gels, and Rinses
- Mouth Kote Dry Mouth Spray: Relieves dry mouth and throat. Long lasting relief. Contains natural Yerba Santa and Xylitol. Yerba Santa is a plant from the foothills of the Pacific Northwest and has been used by many Native American tribes for centuries. Moistens and lubricates. Sugar and alcohol free. Pleasant lemon-lime taste.
- Biotene Moisturizing Gel: Soothing and moisturizing relief gel, lasts for up to 4 hours, alcohol-free and sugar-free, flavor-free.
- Oasis Moisturizing Mouth Spray and Rinse: Immediate and long-lasting moisturization up to two hours, non-drying, alcohol free formula, sugar free and ph balanced spray and rinse.
Other Products to Help With Dry Mouth
- XyliMelts by OraHealth: Adhere to mouth, contain xylitol and lasts several hours. Adhering discs for use while sleeping and daytime. Coats, moisturizes and lubricates. Increases saliva reducing sleep disruption caused by dry mouth. May reduce risk of tooth decay. No preservatives.
- Oramoist Dry Mouth Disk: Gel discs that adhere to roof of the mouth and provides relief up to 4 hours. Tme-released . Sugar-free, alcohol free, glucose free.