Anybody using a CPAP had problems with a totally dried out mouth?

By Nylrad Latest Activity August 10, 2010 at 7:58 am Views 53,578 Replies 99 Likes 15


I wear a ResMed Mirage Activa LT nasal mask. I'm thinking that somehow I'm perhaps breathing out through my mouth and drying it out. I even wear an extra strap that goes under my chin and over my head to keep my mouth closed. But for the past couple of months I wake up with my mouth totally dried out. Anybody else have (and hopefully resolve) this kind of problem?

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  • mcdonamw
    mcdonamw March 27, 2015 at 2:26 pm   

    Just joined this site. I've been a full mask CPAP user for about 3 years now. I have a humidifier on my unit and everything has been fine for the entire time I've had it. However in the past couple of weeks, I've been waking in the middle of the night with a level of dryness in my mouth that is unbelievable to me. My entire mouth and throat is dried completely to the point where my tongue gets stuck to my cheeks!

    It's so annoying. I have to rip my mask off and drown myself with water to get things moistened up.

    I'm pretty sure my humidifier is still working as I can see the condensation in the container and the water levels continue to lessen the more I use it (I refill it daily). I have it at the highest humidity level possible.

    What could all of a sudden be causing this level of dryness? It's driving me mad. I'm suspecting my mouth has all of a sudden started opening, but I've always been somewhat of a mouth breather and it's never been this bad. I'm thinking of getting a chin strap to see if it helps but just wanted to pose the question first.

  • Amihm94
    Amihm94 January 14, 2015 at 12:37 pm   

    I have a machine that has a water tank, use a full mask BUT I still have dry mouth. Had my tonsils and adenoids remove at age 17…

  • evon666
    evon666 January 8, 2015 at 7:51 pm   

    I have the nasal pillows because of claustrophobia, and I wake up with dry mouth as well. I haven't found anything that works for me yet.

  • Sailblazer
    Sailblazer May 14, 2014 at 10:41 pm   

    Dry mouth was a serious problem until I got a chinstrap. Instant relief!

  • Nylrad
    Nylrad May 15, 2014 at 7:14 am   

    I totally understand that! And I use the Xylimelt tablets too, that helps keep my mount moist enough all night long.

  • jcschrum
    jcschrum June 12, 2011 at 1:08 am   

    If you're a mouth breather you may want to try a full face mask. Also use a machine with a humidifier. On another note…I have an autoimmune disease which causes dry mouth. It's called Sjogren's Disease and it destroys your moisturizing glands throughout your body. I'd like to raise awareness cause a lot of people have it and don't know it. It effects mostly women but anyone can get it. There is no cure and they don't know what causes it. Until I was diagnosed with it, I never heard of it. About a year ago, most of my saliva glands stopped working and that's what caused me to seek medical attention. I also have very dry eyes. It causes exhaustion and joint and muscle pain. It can even effect your organs. Everything is dry! You can research this on Hope I was of some help.

  • Nylrad
    Nylrad June 13, 2011 at 8:10 am   

    My best friend for the past 35 years recently learned that she has Sjogren's Disease, so I've been learning more about it. Thanks for your post. Perhaps the best thing we EACH can do is try to get as healthy and physically fit as we can; give ourselves the best chance to fight whatever difficulties come our way.

  • Lyli
    Lyli May 3, 2011 at 6:56 pm   

    I have a Humidifier attached to my CPAP wich prevents dry mouth

  • jbHamm
    jbHamm April 21, 2011 at 10:25 am   

    I have found that if I don't use caffeine nor alcohol during the evening hrs before I go to bed and drink about 8 glasses of water/juice per day, the dry mouth seems to less. But, because I am prone to dry mouth from Medications, I also use Biotene toothpaste (which also seems to help).Sometimes just sucking on a hard cxandy will help the saliva flow, too..Just be sure to use one without sugar so your teeth won't suffer from t he extra sugar. Good luck.l

  • Barbdunndee
    Barbdunndee April 13, 2011 at 9:46 am   

    I use a mouth wash every night and that helps my dry mouth

  • Barbdunndee
    Barbdunndee April 16, 2011 at 11:00 am   

    You go girl

  • Nylrad
    Nylrad April 14, 2011 at 2:53 pm   

    Hey good idea; I might as well try that too. But now I've gotten to where I feel like I really need the XyliMelts discs; they definitely help in my dry mouth situation. I'm still hopeful that when I lose enough weight I won't have sleep apnea like I do. But I've heard that losing weight isn't always a fix for the sleep apnea problems. As of today I've lost 72, but I've still got another 50 to go!

  • expectamiracle
    expectamiracle February 3, 2015 at 1:32 am   

    Good for you. Keep up the good work ! Wow any pound is a huge accomplishment

  • chacha910
    chacha910 January 5, 2015 at 9:03 am   


  • Nylrad
    Nylrad March 21, 2011 at 6:23 am   

    Several months ago I posted to this group about the problem I was having. I wear a ResMed Mirage Active LT nasal mask and every night I was getting a super dry mouth, even though I wear an extra strap under my chin to keep my mouth closed. During this online discussion I was told about XyliMelts Discs for Dry Mouth by someone who had also experienced what I (and many of you) are all too familiar with. I'm reposting about the Xylimelts because they truly have been effective for me. One disc on each side of my mouth keeps me moist enough and it's so much nicer than waking up with my mouth so terribly dry. I ordered them online and they aren't super cheap, but for me it was well worth it. Just wanted to share this again, hopefully someone else can benefit from knowing about this option.

  • dreamweaver109
    dreamweaver109 March 8, 2011 at 7:27 pm   

    I had a problem with air filling up my mouth and causing "bubbles." When I tried a chin strap nothing changed. I found out that once I go to sleep my mouth relaxes and the pressure (set at 17) blows my lips open, even though my jaw is held tight, and the air blows through my mouth causing the dryness. I now use a full face mask and the pressure has been turned down and don't have the dry mouth any longer. I'm glad not to have a dry mouth but really hate the fact that this mask leaks a lot. I've tried using Remzzz's but have even more leaks with them than without, I just can't feel the leaks as much.

    DR.BROWN March 7, 2011 at 11:04 pm   


  • Lyli
    Lyli May 3, 2011 at 6:58 pm   

    You need the humidifier! attached on your CPAP!!

  • shorty's SHADOW
    shorty's SHADOW March 19, 2011 at 1:51 pm   

    You could try a CPAP machine with a variable heat humidifyer. I used to not use a humidifyer, and I like my mucus management better now.

  • sas71
    sas71 April 16, 2011 at 5:29 pm   

    I have one on my machine also but do they just make a humidifer the vaporizer gets kinda warm after a while

  • jfqirish
    jfqirish March 1, 2011 at 7:38 pm   
    Edited March 1, 2011 at 7:44 pm by jfqirish

    I found out 2 or 3 things ; leaking hose ,air escaping from mask ,I take cumidian, (wafaring ) dries out mouth& eyes, 4th, humidifier set too high ,it will run out of water(distilled)

  • jfqirish
    jfqirish March 1, 2011 at 7:41 pm   
    Edited March 1, 2011 at 7:45 pm by jfqirish

    Also tried Bactine,a little bit expensive but works,$8.00 to $ 10.00, plus I use afull mask maded by Hybrid,can even wear my glasses to watch TV or read.

  • holly woods
    holly woods January 31, 2011 at 8:03 pm   

    if you are suffering with a dry mouth it just might be you need to check into a humidifier that mounts on to your machine. i think thats what im going to do to see if it helps and i really think it will.

  • ChristianGramma
    ChristianGramma February 7, 2011 at 12:36 pm   

    I just started using a CPAP machine with a humidifier 3 nights ago. It's the kind that only covers the nose. So far each night when I wake up in the middle of the night(for a bathroom break), I take it off and put just my oxygen on, then the next time I wake up I put the CPAP back on. Hopefully I'll be able to wear the mask all night before too long. It really takes some getting used to. I'm also on oxygen 24/7. I've had a problem with dry mouth at night for several years. It feels like my tongue is glued to the roof of my mouth. I keep ice water near the bed, and will put a couple of pieces of ice in my mouth, but with the CPAP I don't do that unless I take the mask off. I'm afraid the blowing air will shoot the piece of ice into my lungs. I've found (long before getting the machine) that if I put a mint (like a tic-tac) in my mouth it activates the saliva and helps with dry mouth. My husband also has a mask, but his is a full face one that covers his mouth. I may see if I can eventually change to that. The company I get it from said if I waned to change it, just to call them.

  • Patty11
    Patty11 January 23, 2011 at 9:51 am   

    My problem is that since I have on my machine/humidifer I have had more Head colds with stuffy nose, mucus and phlem/mucus. I use the Humidifer on No. 1 and having difficulities with having no humidifer on because the air gets too cold. Am I doing something wrong?

  • Maple Valley, WA.
    Maple Valley, WA. February 18, 2011 at 4:14 pm   

    I also had that problem at the beginning & getting used to it all . I have set my humidifier high at 3. This warms the air. no more drainage problems. Good luck. Rosa

  • holly woods
    holly woods January 31, 2011 at 8:05 pm   

    have you taken your machine in to get it adjusted and re-programmed as well as your humidifier?

  • Kdsano
    Kdsano January 25, 2011 at 7:57 pm   

    I had the same problem. The nurse told me to turn the humidifier up to about 5. I did so, and now I don't have any problems.

  • Hunter29016
    Hunter29016 January 25, 2011 at 6:47 pm   

    Try to increase the humidifier setting,this should help.

  • s2marks
    s2marks January 21, 2011 at 8:42 pm   

    I have a bipap machine and wear a full mask. I find that for the first half hour of trying to get to sleep, i cough a lot and my throat gets very dry. Some nights it seems like my nose gets awfully stuffy too making it even harder to breathe. I was wondering if they make bipap machines with humidifiers and if that would help.

  • katfish
    katfish January 30, 2011 at 12:56 am   

    My husband is on a cpap with nasal pillows. He has a humidifier for it, but does not use it. He does have a nasal spray he uses to help keep his nose from getting stuffy.
    I am on a vpap with oxygen. I use my humidifier set on the highest setting. It keeps my nose and throat from drying out. I also have a full face mask because I sleep with my mouth open the majority of the time. Of course, I also have asthma, chronic bronchitis and emphysema to go with the sleep apnea. I love my humidifier - I would never make it through the night without it.

  • ChristianGramma
    ChristianGramma February 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm   

    What are "nasal pillows". I've had a mask only 3 nights and it hurts the side of my nose. I thought it was because I'm not used to it yet.

  • katfish
    katfish January 30, 2011 at 12:56 am   
    Edited January 30, 2011 at 12:58 am by katfish

    My husband is on a cpap with nasal pillows. He has a humidifier for it, but does not use it. He does have a nasal spray he uses to help keep his nose from getting stuffy.
    I am on a vpap with oxygen. I use my humidifier set on the highest setting. It keeps my nose and throat from drying out. I also have a full face mask because I sleep with my mouth open the majority of the time. Of course, I also have asthma, chronic bronchitis and emphysema to go with the sleep apnea. I love my humidifier - I would never make it through the night without it.

  • gadgetman
    gadgetman January 19, 2011 at 5:45 pm   

    hi my name is Ray Johnson I also have a cpap mask yes it does dry my mouth out but i find that is you use a humidifier in the room with you it will make all the difference in your sleep it will add moister vapor that will help your dry mouth.also leave a window open just a little at night and the cool night air will help you sleep better.I have had sever sleep apnea since1978 I have learned alot since then.You do need to remember that you have to replace your HEAD PIECE GEAR HOSE EVERY 3 TO 6 MONTHS where you originally got you stuff otherwise you could get a lung infection or some kind or respertory condition.THIS IS A MUST!!!!FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS VERY CAREFULLY!!!!THIS IS TO AVOID COMPLICATIONS WITH YOUR BREATHING AT NIGHT. If you would like to chat on this issue you can reach me @ rayjay7628@att.netEmail Small any time.

  • Mr. Magoo747
    Mr. Magoo747 January 13, 2011 at 9:36 pm   

    yes I tried the cpap, but cannot hardly sleep with it even with the water in it, because it dries out my throat so bad that I can't hardly swallow.

  • Nylrad
    Nylrad January 14, 2011 at 7:17 am   

    Have you got a chin strap to keep you from opening your mouth when you're sleeping? That works some; but I think I still get to blowing out of the corner of my mouth. Good luck!

  • LisaLAllensworth
    LisaLAllensworth February 19, 2011 at 9:44 am   

    If you are still getting air leakage you may need to be refitted on your mask. They should have made sure that it fit snuggly before leaving you on your own or if you have lost/gained wt or had your machine without a change in masks for a length of time could affect it also. My son went through like 2 or 3 masks just in the first year of having his and it took some time for him to get used to. He's had it for a number of years now and does great and we just got an upgraded more portable/smaller machine. If you have much air leakage it's not going to be effective for you.

  • sleplessqueen
    sleplessqueen January 20, 2011 at 12:05 pm   
    Edited January 20, 2011 at 12:06 pm by sleplessqueen

    I have the same problem, my nose get congested and I can't breath, so I ended waking up after couple hours with my mouth open and my throat dry, i wake up with headache and my nose sore, so my doctor refer me to a ent doctor, so I will see how go. My machine have the humidifier but don't help to much. any other suggestion?

  • loveyme
    loveyme January 5, 2011 at 3:06 am   

    I do much better with the humidifier. Tried both ways and at this point I am just grasping at straws trying to get used to using it

  • Nylrad
    Nylrad January 5, 2011 at 7:05 am   

    I'd say something like "you'll get used to it", but all in all, I still wish I didn't have to wear a CPAP. I'm trying to lose weight and hope that when I've lost enough that will have something to do with my "need" for a CPAP. But until I no longer need it, I'll wear my "trunk" every night :)

  • dreamweaver109
    dreamweaver109 March 8, 2011 at 7:29 pm   

    Instead of getting better, my sleep apnea got worse after a 75 pound weight loss.

  • Jeannie Holmes
    Jeannie Holmes January 6, 2011 at 5:42 pm   

    Losing weight doesn't always get rid of apnea.

  • gadgetman
    gadgetman January 19, 2011 at 5:47 pm   

    yes your are right about that just makes it easier breathing at night you do get excess weight around your neck area and around your chest making it hard for you to breath

  • Nylrad
    Nylrad January 14, 2011 at 7:18 am   

    You're right about that, but I sure hope it does with me. I've lost 55 pounds, but still have another 70 to go.

  • loveyme
    loveyme January 5, 2011 at 11:49 am   

    Me too. I did lose enough weight to not even needing my oxygen during the day at all. However, my one total knee got bad and my hip needs replacement so exercise is very difficult. I won't give up hope because I know it will help a whole lot and am keeping my eye on the "weight lose" and praying it won't be too much longer before I reach the magic weight. Good luck to you.

  • Nylrad
    Nylrad January 5, 2011 at 1:44 pm   

    Good luck to you, too. I think we both realize that each of us are the only person who can control what we take in (at least food wise) and we each know what is good for us. So to become as healthy as possible, we must take control of what we consume and work as hard as we can on physical activity to make ourselves as healthy as we can be. I'm working on it; let me know how you're doing.

  • donnieb47
    donnieb47 December 31, 2010 at 3:10 am   

    all the time, what you need is a unit with a humidifer

  • Nylrad
    Nylrad December 31, 2010 at 1:48 pm   

    My CPAP has a humidifier, but often (not every night) I wake up with a TOTALLY dry mouth. And I use a chin strap (so I don't have my mouth open). I don't understand why this is happening . . . seems like it should NOT, but I can't "watch myself" while I'm sleeping :|

  • framas
    framas January 11, 2011 at 10:51 am   

    This also happens to me. I use built in humidifer with distilled water. Every morning, I wake upwith a mouth that feels like card board. Tried chin strap,still does no good at all.

  • Shortyboy
    Shortyboy December 25, 2010 at 10:59 pm   

    What If you have dentures will the mouth guard still work?

  • memetolles
    memetolles December 21, 2010 at 9:05 am   
    Edited December 21, 2010 at 9:13 am by memetolles

    I got a mouth guard at the drug store, and fit it to my top teeth, that with the strap took care of my dry mouth. I have the new RES MED with temp control, it also has a heated hose. I have tried alot of masks, I am now using one that is very small , it just covers your nose. By RES MED. That with my mouth guard and strap I do not wake up dry.

  • Nite Shift
    Nite Shift December 7, 2010 at 11:40 am   

    Turn up the setting on your humidifier, or get a machine that can be used with a humidifier. In the AM try rinsing with blue or green Listerine mouthwash, seems to take care of it fairly well.

  • buickman
    buickman December 4, 2010 at 11:15 pm   

    After over ten years I still have dry mouth and I also use a full face mask and have tried a chinstrap, I also snore sometimes. I've tried oral gel fordry mouth and didn'tget good results.

  • dolphingirl
    dolphingirl November 26, 2010 at 2:41 pm   

    I also suffer from the dry mouth syndrome. I have the full mask (which I prefer over the nasal mask). I have learned that this is just another symptom I have to deal with with my sleep apnea. The only thing I can think to deal with it is to retrain yourself to sleep with mouth closed. This is harder to do than say. Since I snore it is hard for me to keep mouth closed. But I have found over the weeks that I'm improving every day. Dry mouth does not completely go away but it does eventually will get better (or at least I hope this is true).

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous November 9, 2010 at 7:09 pm   

    I was told by a CPAD specialist that if you sleep facing up,that when you go into a deep sleep that your the jaw relaxes ,to the point of your tongue and jaw collapse and allow air into your throat,instead of going through nose.If you sleep side ways ,it would solve your problem…Good Luck

  • MomOf2pr2spar
    MomOf2pr2spar January 30, 2011 at 1:28 pm   

    Wow! This has totally hit home. I suddenly started waking up with my mouth so dry that I felt like if I moved my tongue off the roof of my mouth, I would tear a patch of skin off. This was just in the last two weeks and I've been on the CPAP for 8 months now. I cranked up the humidifier (I think or may have just been heat). However, in looking back, that was also the week that I kept waking up on my back. Not sure what was up with that, but, sleeping on my side again has made all the difference :)

  • boholler
    boholler December 28, 2010 at 8:55 am   

    I agree too but can't get myself to stop rolling onto my back. I've tried putting a pillow behind me to keep me from rolling on back but evidently I move the pillow or move over so I can roll. Sleeping on my back also hurts my back b/c of another problem

  • JMontana
    JMontana February 10, 2011 at 10:26 pm   

    I have heard a nurse say she sews a tennis ball into an old T-shirt and wears it to bed to stop her from rolling onto her back at night with her cpap

  • Tracy
    Tracy December 28, 2010 at 9:36 am   

    Remember that when we fit our masks for best seal - all bets are off when we change sleeping positions. think GRAVITY!
    If you do your final fit and adjustment for side sleeping, when you roll to your back, you will probably experience mask leak and need to readjust!

    This is why many of us try to learn to sleep on side or stomach only ( same mask adjustment fit) or back only.

    I know its hard to learn to do this…we have little control over what happens when we fall asleep!!!! It took me a couple of years to train myself NOT to sleep on my back. I found that using a side sleeping pillowed helped, because it was UNCOMFORTABLE for back sleeping - so when I rolled to my back, it was a subtle reminder to roll back over on my side. It was much friendlier than the tennis ball t shirt I also tried OUCH - a picket sewn to a tshirt that was filled with about 8 tennis balls - now THAT was painful and really disrupted sleep! sheesh!

    best to you!

  • dolphingirl
    dolphingirl November 26, 2010 at 2:42 pm   

    I totally agree with you on this. I have found that when I sleep on my back my mouth gets very dry but sleeping on my side helps alot.

  • sleplessqueen
    sleplessqueen January 20, 2011 at 1:58 pm   

    The only way I can fall sleep is on my side, but anyways my mouth get dry, I use the humidifier from the machine, and some times dry my nose and get congested too, I really want to try to use this machine, I need SLEEP!

  • CW45
    CW45 November 2, 2010 at 10:56 am   

    My problem is not so much dry mouth as dry throat. I've tried Biotene throat spray, but it hasn't done any good and it's hideously expensive ($5+ for 1.5 oz). My CPAP machine doesn't have a humidifier. Any ideas?

  • TheDreamer
    TheDreamer November 2, 2010 at 5:53 pm   

    What kind of machine? If its current enough, should be able to get one just about anywhere.

    Otherwise, there are standalone CPAP humidifiers which can be used with any machine. I use the Fisher and Paykel HC150.

  • CW45
    CW45 November 3, 2010 at 10:15 am   

    I'll check into it. Thanks so much!

  • Tracy
    Tracy August 17, 2010 at 6:36 pm   

    Here is a link to an article I wrote about the importance of cpap humidification

    remember, its the moisture we need, not necessarily the heat. You should see a bit of condensation in your tubing which lets you know the humidifier is working.

    Too much condensation can cause "rainout" where water drips through the tubing in to the mask - yuk

    any gurgling noise you hear may mean you have overfilled the water chamber - be very careful not to go over the "fill line" in fact - I stay clear away from that line!

    nothing with cpap is perfect - especially humidification - remember that the heat setting will vary as our sleeping room environment temp changes month to month. In the hot summer when my air conditioning is running, i keep my heat setting mid range. Only in the winter months when I have the furnace running do I need to turn my cpap humidifier temp up in a high range. Normally, I keep my temp on setting of 1 or 2.

    i found that keeping myself hydrated during the day helps with dry mouth at night.

    also - check with your doctor if dry mouth persisits - something else might be going on…
    If you take routine medications, dry mouth may be a side effect of that - and totally unrelated to cpap use

    best to you - let us know how your reslove the problem!


  • blkbear
    blkbear August 22, 2010 at 9:08 pm   

    your mouth is leaking air just alittle, not enough to wake you up till you dry out.

  • stevesgirl
    stevesgirl August 17, 2010 at 3:19 pm   

    I wear the full face mask and my mouth gets so dry i hate it im up getting a drink and going to the bathroom i get no sleep up and down b/c of this dry mouth

  • Bernadine7
    Bernadine7 November 2, 2010 at 2:25 pm   

    I absolutely hated the full face mask. If you can please try the nasal pillow kind. It's like night and day compared with the horrible full face mask.

  • stevesgirl
    stevesgirl August 17, 2010 at 10:42 am   

    I get dry mouth also and dont know what to do i hate it

  • Nylrad
    Nylrad August 12, 2010 at 9:55 am   

    Thanks to everyone who replied to my post. I do have a chin strap, so it's not my mouth opening, but I'm thinking that somehow, even with my mouth closed I let some out maybe through the side of my mouth. It's kind of hard to tell . . . when you've got to be asleep to provide the example :) Lisa suggested that the dryness is from lack of humidity, but I do have a water hookup in my CPAP machine (and it uses water each night) so I still don't really know (for sure) what is making me wake up with my mouth so dry it's stuck together :| Any other suggestions?

  • Tracy
    Tracy December 28, 2010 at 9:43 am   

    I have never had much success with chin straps - I don't find they keep the mouth closed. And being a mouth breather and needing a full face mask is a challenge for sure -
    Sometimes being a mouth breather means air escapes out through our lips ( I do that and its like a horsy sound :) ) so a chin strap won't help someone who sleeps with mouth closed yet has air escaping through the lips.

    Do you think you might consider tring a full face mask again?

  • Nylrad
    Nylrad January 22, 2011 at 7:01 am   

    What I have is the triangular shape around my nose. My doctor (a neurologist) will not prescribe a full face mask because I have had seizures in my sleep (epilepsy). Otherwise I would give a full mask a try. I guess, from reading replies from a lot of people with the same kind of difficulty, it sounds like I need to focus on making myself just sleep on my side. I always start out that way, but I usually wake up on my back; not sure how to "train" myself to stay on one side or the other :|

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