Tips for Dry Mouth – CPAP Mask Tactics

Lightbulb and the words helpful tips.

How to Eliminate Dry Mouth from CPAP? 

Dry mouth and its impact on a good night’s sleep tends to be a common issue for some CPAP users. A dry mouth or throat leads to various nasal problems such as congestion and soreness, so it is imperative that any CPAP user understand the causes and remedies to help alleviate this issue.

Are you Waking up with Dry Mouth While Using CPAP?

If you are waking up with dry mouth while using CPAP then air leakage may be occurring around your mask. The leak causes moisture to escape and leave your mouth parched.  Nasal and nasal pillow masks are the types of mask that most commonly cause dry mouth. 

Why CPAP Causes Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a normal occurrence for people who just start out on CPAP therapy simply because they are not used to the pressurized air required to help open the air passage. Dry mouth is exacerbated for people whose jaw drops open during sleep. Not only does this create a much less efficient therapy because of leakage, it also causes dry mouth.

CPAP Dry Mouth Solutions

There are a couple of solutions to help prevent this type of problem. If you wear a nasal or nasal pillow mask, a simple solution would be to wear a chinstrap which essentially holds the jaw in place. Holding the jaw shut will not only help the effectiveness of therapy, it will combat the causes of dry mouth.

Chinstrap on mannequin head.

A second solution would be a switch to a full face mask, which covers both the nose and mouth. Although for some, wearing a full face mask could be a bit claustrophobic or confining, it is a great solution to alleviate dry mouth. In fact, you do not have to wear the full face every day. Switching between masks can be an effective solution. 

The most effective and comfortable solution to dry mouth is to use a humidifier, either heated or room temperature, with your CPAP machine.  Nearly all new CPAP machines have integrated humidifiers. In fact, all of the best-selling auto CPAP machines have either an integrated or optional attachable humidifier. We have compared the best-selling CPAP machines of 2020

Autocpap machine

Humidification is key when dealing with symptoms of dry mouth because the humidifier can supply both warm and room temperate air. At The CPAP Shop, we always recommend using the humidifier to add even a small amount of humidity in the airflow. This will help nasal passages to stay hydrated. Hydrated breathing passages will help to combat colds, congestion and sore throat.

If you are using both a full face mask and a CPAP machine with a heated humidifier and still experiencing dry mouth, the mask may be leaking. An ill-fitted CPAP mask – whether not sized properly, the wrong style, a degraded cushion or poor headgear adjustment – can cause air leaks. If leakage occurs, dry air from the room can leak in while humidification escapes. The result is reduced humidification within the circuit, resulting in dry throat and mouth. Many machines have a mask leak alert to help you troubleshoot this problem. Check the data within your machine to confirm a mask leak.

Finally, beyond factors involving the CPAP machine and mask, dry mouth can also get worse from dehydration. The general recommendation to drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day might be too little for many people. When people drink large amounts of coffee or other caffeine beverages, or even sweat a lot during the day, their need for water may increase. Making sure to rehydrate is an important part of CPAP therapy.

If you have any questions about any CPAP chinstraps, masks, or humidifiers, don’t hesitate to call our knowledgeable staff at 866-414-9700, or email us at contact@thecpapshop.com.

Chris Vasta is the president of The CPAP Shop and an expert in sleep and respiratory therapy. He often provides insights on product design and functionality on various manufacturers’ prototypes and is frequently tapped to provide reviews on new releases.

Chris Vasta CPAP Expert & President at The CPAP Shop

Author

Chris Vasta

Over a 10+ year career at PHH Mortgage managing a $100 million portfolio, Chris Vasta learned the ins and outs of the business world. He learned how to establish business relationships, lead a multi-prong team, and implement strategies for long-term growth. In 2007, Vasta used that experience to transition his role into president of The CPAP Shop. Over his tenure, Vasta has been involved in everything from website design to warehouse layout. His hands-on approach with customers has evolved into an in-depth understanding of the challenges of beginning and adhering to sleep therapy. He often provides his insights on product…