If you are reading this article, you’ve likely felt uncomfortable with a dry mouth during the colder months. The symptoms that follow this feeling are a sore throat, constant thirst, difficulty swallowing, etc. You will feel like you caught a cold, but that might not be the case.
Although cold and influenza may be more common in the winter, it’s not necessarily connected to the feeling of a dry mouth. Many other factors may cause this feeling to happen.
Below, we will mention some of the most common factors and how you can solve them. If none of the factors apply to you and you cannot find a solution to your problem, we advise you to seek medical help.
When the winter months come, the humidity in the air may drop significantly. The air will feel drier and “sharper” than during the warmer months, which may lead to a dry mouth.
You may have noticed that the room gets pretty steamy when you take a warm shower in a cold bathroom. It is due to lower humidity levels and cold and warm temperatures.
When you inhale “dry” air, your mouth will dry up, especially during the night (if you sleep with your mouth open). The air in your home may have lower humidity levels, so you should consider this factor the first cause of your problem. Since your mouth is exposed to dry air most of the time during winter, you may need something to ease your troubles.
That’s when air humidifiers come in handy. However, you should monitor the humidity levels in your home because you don’t want it to get too humid.
Many types of humidifiers available for purchase can solve your dry mouth problem. Regarding the air outside, you can use a scarf or a mask over your mouth to keep the area around it humid.
A study has found that over 12% of people worldwide drink coffee daily, and most are citizens of the United States. As the number of caffeine users increased, so did the number of people who experienced a dry mouth during the winter. Is this a coincidence?
When you have a caffeinated drink like coffee, tea, or an energy drink, your body produces less saliva.
Moreover, during the winter, saliva production decreases as well. When you put two and two together, you can see that consuming caffeine in the winter can cause a dry mouth. To prevent this from happening, you can consume less caffeine, which is the obvious solution.
If you don’t want to give up on the warm drinks that provide you with energy, you can consume, for example, gum, which can help you produce more saliva during the day, keeping your mouth fresh and hydrated.
Another solution would be to consume salty foods, which can improve your salivary flow, but make sure not to intake too much as these foods can lead to other health issues.
Another thing that will decrease your salivary flow is the consumption of cigarettes and tobacco. When you inhale nicotine, it will dehydrate your mouth, leaving you with a dry mouth feeling. Other smokables, such as vaping, can also affect your saliva production. You may be surprised to hear that you can also have a weed dry mouth which may be more challenging to get rid of.
If you are a smoker, we advise you to keep the consumption to a minimum during winter. A dry mouth caused by smoking can harm your teeth and gum health, alongside many other issues, such as throat infections, respiratory problems, heart diseases, etc.
Make sure to keep yourself hydrated when consuming weed to avoid various infections or health issues.
To do so, you can drink plenty of water and consume saliva-inducing foods, such as citrus fruits or olive oil. Moreover, you should ensure good mouth hygiene to protect your teeth, gum, and tongue from possible infections. Pay special attention to cleaning your tongue because it stores the most bacteria.
Medical conditions and medications
We are more prone to getting sick or contracting a virus during the winter. The cold weather and low humidity levels may also contribute to the spread of certain viruses, such as COVID-19, thus making it easier to get sick in the winter. That’s why you should visit your doctor if you are experiencing any health issues besides dry mouth symptoms.
Many health issues may lead to the feeling of a dry mouth, such as high body temperature, dehydration, digestive problems, blood sugar levels, etc. Thus, if you notice your mouth being more dry than usual, you should consider other factors that may represent a health hazard.
On the other hand, certain medications may also contribute to the feeling of a dry mouth. Before you consume any medication, make sure to read the instructions and the side effects. Many drugs on the market will leave your mouth dry – a common side effect.
You don’t have to worry because it can all be solved with proper hydration and saliva-inducing foods.
Can a dry mouth be dangerous?
Aside from being unpleasant, a dry mouth can have many more negative effects than you think. It is not just about drinking enough water and chewing gum – it is about keeping good mouth hygiene and finding a permanent solution for your problem.
When your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva (xerostomia), it can cause serious health issues. For example, if your mouth doesn’t have enough saliva, your gums and teeth may decay and cause dental diseases.
Moreover, you may develop a yeast infection because there won’t be enough good bacteria in your mouth (produced by your saliva) to defend your mouth from such infections.
This feeling may be more emphasized during the winter, so you must take good care of your oral health and not ignore your dry mouth symptoms.
During the winter, many of us get a cold or have that weird, dry feeling in our mouths. There are a couple of different factors that may cause this to happen, as seen above. We have presented some of the solutions you can try to get rid of this unpleasant feeling. However, if none of the above solutions have worked for you, you should see your doctor because there may be a more serious health problem.