One common complaint of sleep apnea patients using positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy is a dry mouth. Finding the cause of your dry mouth should not be too difficult but may take a little investigation. Most importantly, make sure you consult with your health care provider about your treatment. They will be the best resource to determine if any underlying issues need to be addressed that may be causing your dry mouth.
Causes Of Dry Mouth
A great place to start is with humidification, which is a separate module or feature that can be added to PAP treatment. Humidification adds moisture and warms the pressurized air you are receiving from your device, reducing the chance of dryness. If you don’t have humidification, it’s worth speaking with your physician or equipment supplier about adding it to your therapy.
If you have humidification but still have a dry mouth, it’s possible your Interface is leaking. If so, you’re likely not benefiting from the humidification as your Interface may be leaking air. Checking the Interface fit and headgear strap tightness is a great way to try and reduce the leak. Or, it may be time to replace your Interface with a new one. It’s also a good idea to consult with your health care provider or equipment supplier and ask for a download of your PAP device data to verify if there are leak issues during the night.
If neither humidification nor leakage is the problem, you might have the wrong Interface for your breathing habits. If you breathe through your mouth and are using a nasal Interface or nasal pillows, not only are you likely not getting sufficient pressure to reduce your sleep apnea, but the majority of your air is probably escaping through your mouth, drying it out. Talk to your physician or equipment supplier to see if adding a chin strap or switching to a full face Interface would be a good next step.