Let’s talk about how to fix it and why it happens.
Dry mouth on CPAP is a very common occurrence. It can happen for a few reasons and most of them are easily resolved with some minor changes. Dry mouth while using CPAP might not be just a comfort issue for you. It can be a sign of issues with your therapy and can lead to larger issues if it isn’t corrected.
Why is my Mouth Dry on CPAP?
Here at CPAPmyway we get this question quite a bit. The number one question that we ask back is, “are you on a Nasal or Nasal Pillow CPAP mask?”. This is because more than likely your mouth is dropping open at night while you are using your CPAP. Causing the CPAP pressure to leak out of your mouth. This can affect your therapy pressure and performance of the CPAP as well as your comfort on CPAP. If you are not on a Nasal or Nasal Pillow CPAP mask, then it is probably due to setting issues. Such as Humidity setting, tube temperature or CPAP settings. Most of the time those are easily resolved as well. Let’s look at the specific causes and specific resolutions below.
Causes of Dry Mouth on CPAP
Mouth Leak on Nasal CPAP Mask– As the air is entering your nasal passage and blowing back out of your mouth it can cause significant dryness.
Tube Temperature settings need to be adjusted– As you adjust up humidifier settings the tube temperature can be critical.
CPAP Settings are not correct– Hopefully you haven’t accidentally adjusted any Clinical Settings, but it may be worth considering.
Alternate issues– IE: Medication, or predisposition to dry mouth
How to Resolve Dry Mouth on CPAP
Now that we have discussed potential causes of Dry Mouth on CPAP, let’s go over some resolutions.
1) Correcting Mouth Leak
Mouth Leak is the single most common cause of Dry Mouth on CPAP. It can be resolved in a number of ways. The first step might be to try a Chinstrap or Mouth Strip. The chinstrap is designed to help keep your jaw up and tight so that your mouth stays closed. Click here to check out different options. The Mouth Strips are Band-Aid like seal specially designed to work on your mouth. They will keep it sealed all night. Our favorite currently is the Hush Mouth Strips click (here to view).
If neither of those options correct the dry mouth or you just don’t like those options. Then the best resolution is a full face mask. This will allow you to breathe the humidified air through your nose or your mouth. There are a variety of Full Face CPAP Masks available and many are far more minimal and comfortable than you might imagine. Click here to check out our Full Face CPAP Mask Options.
2) Correcting Humidity Settings
Maybe you are already on a Full Face CPAP Mask or doing just fine on the Nasal CPAP Mask without mouth leak. If this is you and you are still experiencing Dry Mouth on your CPAP, then we should try some Humidity Setting changes. Almost all modern CPAP machines come with integrated Heated Humidifiers. This allows you to add more humidity to the air you are breathing to reduce dryness. In all of these models you can go into your Patient Settings Menu and access the Humidity control. If you are looking for more humidity to resolve the dryness, then you will turn it up. Make sure that you only make slight adjustments so that you don’t overdo it.
If you have adjusted your humidity as high as it can go or you are experiencing excess condensation (rainout) in your CPAP tubing from turning the humidity setting too high, then we need to look into a Heated Tube for your CPAP machine. Most modern CPAP machines have the ability to add in a heated CPAP tube to control the temperature and humidity throughout the length of the tube. This will allow you to add a lot of humidity to the air you are breathing without the excess condensation (rainout) in the tubing. Click here to check out Heated CPAP Tubes. The Heated tubes can be adjusted up as well to increase the ability to add more moisture to the air.
3) Incorrect CPAP Settings causing Dry Mouth
In some cases, if you have not seen a doctor in a while, or you obtained a CPAP Machine from a “non-traditional” source, you may have the wrong settings in the CPAP. In that case you will have to make an appointment with your Local Sleep Specialist to determine what the proper settings should be.
4) You already experience mouth dryness from medication or predisposition.
In these cases, you will always have to consult with your personal doctor. However, you can add a room humidifier to your night stand and make sure to have a glass of water bedside to help battle the Dry Mouth.
As always, we appreciate your feedback. Feel free to reach out to us with questions or concerns that you feel we might can address.
Thanks for checking in!!