When we go to bed after a tiring day, we want the new morning to be refreshing and soothing. But, as soon as we take a deep breath to inhale the fresh morning breeze, ouch, what do we feel? Not the fresh air, but a dry and uncomfortable feeling inside the throat. Yes, I am talking about that unpleasant feeling in your throat and mouth wherein you feel that something is stuck inside, probably the phlegm? You don't have a cold, or fever, it is not the soreness, but whatever it is, it is causing dryness and discomfort in the throat. Is this normal, or should you be concerned?
Experts believe that the most common cause of experiencing dry throat in the morning is sleeping with your mouth open during the night. Sleeping this way allows the air to enter your mouth, making it dry and dehydrated. But there is more to experiencing dry throat than this ...
Not always necessary, but we mostly experience a dry throat every morning during winters, isn't it? Thus, one of the causes is the dry winter air. The weather is cold and dry, and hence, there is a lack of moisture in the air which leads to dryness in the throat. Also, we tend to catch viral infections or common cold in winters. Dryness in the throat could also be an indication regarding the onset of common cold. Sinus infections during cold results the drainage to run down the throat, which leads to irritation, specially in the night, and the throat gets dry when you wake up in the morning.
Have you ever checked on your sleeping habits? Well, though it is not possible for you to analyze the way you sleep, the thing is that you can always ask your family or friends if you sleep with your mouth open, or, if you snore. When we sleep, our salivary glands slow down as our brain knows that we are not eating. This fact, when combined with constant flow of air when we sleep with our mouth open, leads to a dry tongue and throat. If you sleep on your back, then there are high chances of you breathing from your mouth and not your nose. Breathing from your mouth dries up the saliva in your mouth. Saliva is antibacterial, and helps in balancing the bacteria in the mouth. Therefore, lack of enough saliva in the mouth leads to cavities and gum diseases, and of course, dry and sore mouth and throat.
Dry throat in the morning can also be a result of your lifestyle. If you are involved in habits like smoking or chewing tobacco, not only can it lead to what we are discussing on, but it can also be a cause of fatal conditions like cancer! Coming back to the dryness in the throat, smoking and consumption of tobacco can cause this because it affects the production of saliva, and we have already discussed how it leads to a sore throat.
Dry throat can also be the result of the side effects for certain drugs used for treating depression, allergies, hypertension, asthma, acne, psychotic disorders, obesity, urinary incontinence, pain, colds, Parkinson's disease, and so on. Therefore, it is best to check with your doctor if you think that the medications could be the cause behind the same.
You might want to consider the fact if sleep apnea could be the possible cause behind it. Sleep apnea is when you stop breathing, in repeated intervals, during your sleep due to the blockage of the airway. Untreated sleep apnea may cause various complications in your health. People suffering from this condition are sleepy and tired all throughout the day, and tend to suffer from memory loss as well in the long run. If you think you have the symptoms, refer to a sleep disorder specialist as soon as possible.
Dehydration due to fever, excessive sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, blood loss or less intake of fluids in the body; may also lead to dry and sore throat in the morning. Hence, it becomes important to make sure that you are consuming enough fluids so that the water level in your body is sufficient to keep you away from sore dry throat.
Some Serious Causes
There are some serious health conditions that can be associated with dryness in the throat. Health problems like Sjogren's syndrome, salivary gland cancer, acid reflux, and nerve damage in the head or neck can also cause dry throat.
There is a solution for every problem, and dryness in the throat is no exception to this rule. As I mentioned earlier, most of us consider this condition to be common and wouldn't want to visit a doctor especially for this. However, I would strictly recommend you to visit your healthcare specialist if you feel that the condition is beyond normal. Nevertheless, mentioned below are some homemade remedies that you can try to get some relief from this condition.
- You need to moisten your throat so that it doesn't stay dry. Drink lots of water and warm liquids to keep the throat moist. The all-time-favorite honey or lemon tea seems to be a good and effective option.
- Another thing to keep in mind is the benefit of gargling with salt water. (1 cup of lukewarm water with ½ tsp of salt)
- Try to suck lozenges frequently till you get some relief, it increases the production of saliva, and you also get some relief from the dryness in the throat. This must be avoided with small kids as there is a risk of choking involved. Sucking some sugar-free candy/gum could be a very effective remedy, as well.
- For people who snore a lot and sleep with their mouth open, it is advisable to use a nose strip while sleeping as it opens the nostrils, and enables comfortable breathing with your nose and not your mouth.
- Use a cool mist vaporizer or a humidifier for moistening the air.
- Brushing with fluoride toothpaste and using fluoride rinse, is again a good way to get rid of dry throat.
- If it's winter, then a good remedy would be to keep yourself warm, and also keep yourself well hydrated.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.