The most common medical intervention for Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS) is the use of a CPAP machine (nasal type). However, CPAP mouth dryness that may occur along with the therapy has been one of the main causes for patients to kick the machine to the curb! Mouth dryness is a sign of air leaking from the CPAP, from sleeping with your mouth open, or from the pressure of the air being pumped in.
If you use a CPAP and are currently contemplating whether or not the sleeping relief is worth the dry mouth…then contemplate no longer! There are many effective ways to prevent and treat dry mouth from CPAP so you can get a great night sleep and wake up not feeling like you need to chug a gallon of water!
Here is what you can do:
Humidifiers: heated humidification can help prevent CPAP! It keeps the air moist, so if you are a mouth breather the air is not drying out your mouth. (Many CPAP machines now have a built in humidifier for this reason)
Drinking Water & Dental Rinses: keep a glass of water by your bedside. If you wake up in the middle of the night, take some sips. The hard part is that you may have a mask all strapped up over your face. Try a “Bent tip squeeze bottle” that you can easily slide under your mask. Search Amazon for this bottle or visit us, we have them. We also have patients use ACT Dry Mouth Rinse in these and give a little bit all night long. They love it!
CPAP dry mouth medications: XyliMelts, Biotene Oral Balance Moisturizing Gel (also comes in a mouth spray), Cann-ease (gel for dry nose).
Use a full mask: It doesn’t matter if you have mouth leaks because the air is still contained within the mask. You will still get CPAP therapy whether you breathe through your nose or mouth. Dry mouth may still occur, but the air pressure in the mask will be maintained.
Keep your mouth closed during sleep: Are you a mouth breather when you sleep? Keeping your mouth closed while you sleep can make a huge difference with your dry mouth. Here are some things you can try:
- Use a chinstrap. Keeping the jaw “up” seals the mouth by also keeping the tongue up. The tongue allows for an airtight seal inside the mouth. You can buy a chinstrap or make your own! Just cut the leg off a panty hose tight, put your chin in the middle and tie the ends above your head.
- Learn Tongue Position. Keeping your tongue positioned at the top of your mouth will help prevent mouth leaks by stopping air from getting out, thus no more CPAP dry mouth. You can practice tongue positioning during the day! Seal your lips and create a small suction inside your mouth. Push your tongue forward against your teeth and up to the roof of your mouth. The suction should hold your tongue.
If you are experiencing dry mouth from CPAP, talk to your dentist for more recommendations on how to find some relief. Also understand you are at much greater risk for cavities! Looking for a dentist in the triangle area? Give DurhamDDS a call! We offer a generous helping of dental services for patients of all ages. To set up an appointment call our office at 919-286-0779 or visit our website at durhamdds.com for more information.