CPAP and Dry Mouth... ACK!!!

By APJ Latest Activity May 28, 2011 at 9:29 pm Views 10,886 Replies 16 Likes 6


Hello Everyone! I'm new to sleep connect and I have been using my CPAP machine for a little over a year now. I have some interesting concerns I was hoping that someone on here could help me with: 1) Although I have a built in humidifier on my CPAP machine, it has NEVER stopped my mouth from drying out. It gets bad. I wake up not feeling my tongue- cause its stuck to the roof of my mouth and my lips are frozen to my teeth and gums. My throat is so dry it seems that having the CPAP is worse than NOT having it. 2) these problems are terribly irritating. They all stem from one thing that I've noticed- the air flow between the bridge of my nose and the mask. IT SHOOTS A STREAM OF AIR RIGHT INTO MY EYES!! In order to prevent this, I strap my full mask on a little tighter. solves that problem, but when I wake up, my gums hurt like no ones business and my teeth feel loose, the dry mouth issues return, etc… can someone help me out here?

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Replies (16 replies)

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  • RussMacmillan
    RussMacmillan July 6, 2011 at 9:53 am   

    Have you ever thought of a chin strap…it sounds like you sleep with your mouth open so all that air is escaping out thru your mouth drying it out! there are many chin straps out there…the ultimate chin strap is the only one that works…also have you considered nasal pips…they are the most efficent and most comfortable…masks are the worse!

  • lmkilday
    lmkilday June 30, 2011 at 4:56 pm   

    Ask your doctor about a different mask. I had that problem wiith a mask and the doctor switched the mask I was using. When you find a mask that doesn't have that problem, try increasing the humidity on the machine. It should take care of the dry mouth problem. I've had to increase the humidity setting on my machine to 5. At that setting, I barely feel the air pressure.

  • lesalew
    lesalew June 17, 2011 at 6:40 pm   

    The humidifier is adjustable, you can turn it down, until you get use to that and then turn it back up.

  • herbk
    herbk June 12, 2011 at 1:17 pm   

    Hello, I read a few of the reply's and mine may be redundant, but I'll send it also. I have a humidifier, but sometimes my mouth is still dry. I don't know why? My main thing is that I had the problem with my mask being not quite rite. The bottom or the mask rested just below my lower lip. Every morning when I replace my partial (two lower front teeth) it felt extremely tight. I began to think my teeth were moving due to the mask (they were). I had my supplier change my mask and this new one gives me no problems. My other one was a jell mask and the new one is not. Like you have been told a chin strap my be useful in ending your dry mouth. I also use a Sleep Comfort Care Pad. It is a jell type strip that is applied across the bridge or your nose. It works two fold, one, the bridge of my nose is not bright red when I take the mask off in the morning and two, I don't have any problem with air in my eyes. What ever you do if it works let me know. I too have been using mind for a little over a year.

  • North to Alaska
    North to Alaska June 8, 2011 at 10:40 pm   

    You have received some great advice but I did not see (probably missed it) the issue of sore gums and loose teeth. I discovered that when I started using my CPAP machine that I "learned" to close my mouth more and my dentist discovered that I was grinding my teeth which was making my gums sore and some of my teeth feel loose. The Dentist recommended a night guard. Initially I was hesitant to use a guard and the CPAP mask. I just thought it would be too much stuff in my face.

    I've been using the guard for a couple of years now and am happy to report the gums and teeth are doing well. AND the CPAP mask in combination works just fine. So besides all the great advice you received, you might also want to speak to your dentist. You sure don't want to wear your teeth down.

  • phatmusiclover8
    phatmusiclover8 June 8, 2011 at 8:48 pm   

    I have a chin strap, and brush with biotene toothpaste, and rinse with biotene mouthwash. it helps.

  • Sexy-Love
    Sexy-Love June 5, 2011 at 10:46 pm   

    Well hon, sounds like you're a mouth breather. I know you're wearing a full face mask by the description. maybe you should try a nasal pillow mask and a chin strap. You may also just need to have the Representative come out to your house and re-adjust your mask. I know it is a pain, but it's worth it if it fits right and your mouth isn't dry and hurting. When I had my C-PAP, I had the nasal pillows. I too am a mouth breather, but I programmed myself to close my mouth when I felt the air escaping through my mouth. My nasal passages are tiny, so a face mask was out of the question since the pressure on the nose would close them and kept me from breathing. Hope I could help…goodluck hon!

  • Cindi143
    Cindi143 June 2, 2011 at 9:04 am   

    Wonder if you use nasal mask or full face mask? IF it s nasal mask it may be the problem when you are in deep sleep your mouth maybe open to let CPAP air pressure thru out of your mouth to make mouth DRY. Use strip to keep chin mouth close. It may help??? IF you use face mask, leaking is the possible way. Wish you luck

  • Phonse65
    Phonse65 June 2, 2011 at 4:09 pm   

    When I began with a CPAP, it did not have a humidifier, and my mouth was getting terribly dry. With the addition of a ful face mask aand a humidifier, my problem was solved.

  • jcschrum
    jcschrum June 2, 2011 at 7:08 pm   

    I too have a full face mask and humidifier. I went through several masks before I found the right one.

  • jcschrum
    jcschrum May 30, 2011 at 8:11 am   

    It may be from your C-PAP or another condition. Are you on meds that can cause dry mouth? Is there another disease or disorder that may be causint it? You mention you have dry eyes too but said it was from the air leaking. Are they ever dry during the day? Is your mouth dry during the day too or just at night. I have a disorder called Sjogren's Syndrome. It cause dry eyes and mouth and a whole list of other ailments. It's an autoimmune disorder that attacks and destroys your moisturizing glands throughout your body. I wanted to mention it because a lot of people have it and don't know it. It's very common however, there's no cure and they don't know what causes it. It's hard to diagnose it because the symptoms resemble so many other diseases and disorders. Most of the time the anitbodies show up in the blood but for me it showed up in a lip biopsy. There is no one test that confirms it. There are a lot of factors to take in consideration. Look it up and if you feel you have a lot of the symptoms, bring it up to your Dr. One way or another, there are products out there to help with the dryness. I use a product called Oasis mouth spray. It has a fresh minty taste and helps relieve some of the dryness. I also use Biotene products such as toothpaste and mouthwash for the dryness. There is also saline nasal spray and gel if your nose/sinuses get dry during the night. Refresh and Restasis helps with dry eyes. Restasis is a prescription, though. Hope I was of some help and good luck with the dryness. I sure know how you feel. Also like KyFrontiersman said -taking a bottle of water to bed also helps. Best wishes.

  • Phonse65
    Phonse65 June 2, 2011 at 4:07 pm   

    Thank you for the great info

  • KyFrontiersman
    KyFrontiersman May 30, 2011 at 12:48 am   

    I've got the same problem, and thaty's why I keep a bottle opf water next to my CPAP machine. Oh well, it's a pain in the rear for me too, but the bottle of H2O helps.

  • bambam1213
    bambam1213 June 2, 2011 at 9:40 am   

    i am with you kyfrontierman i to keep bottle water next to my bed… i use a full face mask it was a pain at frist but now i cant sleep with out it…but the dry mouth is still a pain

  • Tracy
    Tracy May 29, 2011 at 10:31 am   

    ACK is right, nothing worse than a dry mouth with cpap use.

    here's a link to an article I wrote about mask choice, fit and SEATING. Has your mask always caused this problem? If it worked at first, it may be its just worn out and needs replacing. If its always been a Pain…it may not be the best ff mask for YOUR face, or possibly no one showed you how to properly adjust it…see the article.

    For cpap to work at its best - all 3 components must be working in tandem…mask, machine pressure with proper bells and whistles enabled AND proper use of humidification.

    Your cpap supplier should be working closely with you to determine what is causing your dry mouth and to work out any individual issues you are having with the 3 components.

    With a mask, tighter is never better. A mask should never cause pain nor discomfort if its the right size and fitted properly. note in the article that final adjustment should ALWAYS be done in bed, machine blowing while you are laying in your sleeping position. note too that fit is for position, so when you change sleeping positions during the night, it means fit must be changed too. I learned to side/stomach sleep only so I would not have to experience leak and readjustment of mask each night.

    Humidification is a necessity for the full face mask user - so make sure your unit is heating properly and that your temp controls are best suited for your sleeping environment. If you were not given instruction on how to use and adjust your humidifier - ask your cpap provider as they are PAID to education you on your equipment. If they do not seem concerned or willing to help you - report them to your sleep doctor and find another.


  • STL Mark
    STL Mark May 28, 2011 at 11:17 pm   

    Welcome to Sleep Connect. Regarding number 1), I'm curious which machine and humidifier you have. Does it seem to be using water during the night? Does your machine have settings for how humid you desire the air to be? You may need a machine with a integrated heated humidifier rather than a pass over unit.

    2) Could be several issues. It is possible you have been improperly sized for your full face mask. It could also be that you have not been changing the mask cushion frequently enough. Each face is different, you may need to try another mask model or manufacturer to get the proper fit for you. But there should be no air blowing into your eyes. Assuming you have good insurance, you should be able to get a new mask every 6 months and a new cushion every month. I've used my 6 month mask options to try out new masks. Go in to your DME (equipment provider) and play with your machine and the masks, see which one gives you the best fit. They can return the masks you open but do not take home.

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