Managing CPAP Oral Dryness

Learning how to handle dry mouth associated with CPAP use can be difficult.

Obstructive sleep apnea, otherwise known as OSA, is a condition that occurs when a person is asleep and is known to cause hypoxia, excessive sleepiness during the day, as well as sleep fragmentation. Obstructive sleep apnea is also linked to mood disorders, cognitive impairment, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, and cerebrovascular incidents.

When it comes to the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea, dentists are in a unique position as they are well placed to manage and provide primary care through the prescription of intra-oral appliances in cases where the patient experiences moderate or mild obstructive sleep apnea.

On top of this, they are in a position to manage dry mouth, which frequently occurs during treatment using Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, also known as CPAP. CPAP is the most common and effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea.

One of the side effects that is frequently reported by sleep apnea patients undergoing CPAP therapy is mouth dryness. This occurs when the air around the mouth leaks out. This is regardless of the type of CPAP mask used. Even though study results vary, there is one study that points to the fact that mouth dryness frequently occurs when those undergoing CPAP therapy use oronasal masks compared to nasal masks.

What is Oral Dryness?

Oral dryness is such an issue with CPAP patients that many have discontinued their CPAP therapy altogether. In fact, numerous studies have shown that around 29 to 83% of sleep apnea patients could not use CPAP machines, precisely because of the dry mouth issue.

Non-compliance that results from mouth dryness, which occurs when the patient breathes through their mouth using nasal CPAP. This is a challenge to effective treatment. In addition, it increases the risk of related long-term comorbidity when the patient stops undergoing CPAP therapy.

One study conducted using sleep apnea patients with an age ranging between 45 to 70 years from Australia, China, and New Zealand. The patients who had a medical history of stroke, obstructive sleep apnea, coronary heart disease, and ischemic attack. They were put in a CPAP arm of a wider study that was termed the SAVE trial.

Subjects in this trial reported leaking problems, mask fit, nasal symptoms as well as mouth dryness as adverse events that they experienced with mouth dryness being the most common one. Mouth dryness affected an overall 42% of patients.

The study concluded that dry mouth as a side effect was independently associated with a decrease in CPAP adherence at 12 months. The study also came to the conclusion that optimizing early use of CPAP equipment as well as interventions to reduce side effects is key to enhancing the long term use of CPAP adherence in patients that have obstructive sleep apnea that is moderate or severe.

Other studies have indicated that patients are more likely to continue with CPAP therapy if patterns of CPAP adherence are established as soon as the patients start CPAP therapy.

Treatments for Oral Dryness

Finding the right treatment for your oral health and dry mouth can be a process of trial and error while working with your doctor.

Fortunately, if a CPAP patient experiences dry mouth during the day, there are a number of over-the-counter drugs that are easily available and can help patients mitigate the effects of dry mouth.

If the patient is experiencing excessive dryness in the course of the night due to a condition such as Sjorgen’s disease, it is more challenging to manage. Thankfully, there are products that exist that have a record of being effective in managing excessive dry mouth during the night as well as a dry mouth that is associated with the use of CPAP equipment.

XyliMelts® is one such product. It is designed to work as an adhering disc that can be attached to the teeth or gingiva. It is shaped like a disc and works by slowly dissolving over time. On one side, the drug is coated with a vegetable gum adhesive, which makes it possible to attach it to oral surfaces.

An empirical assessment has shown that patients using these oral adhering drug wake up to an after taste of mild mint flavoring. This gustatory effect, combined with mechanical stimulation that is provided by the adhering disc, was found to diminish the perception of oral dryness once the patient awoke according to this study.

You can review some of the reviews that have been posted online for XyliMelts®. Most of the people who review this drug have indicated a marked improvement in night time dry mouth that is not associated with CPAP use. Patients who undergo CPAP therapy and suffer from dry mouth have also praised the drug saying how effective it is.

As a CPAP therapy patient, we urge you to cautiously interpret the efficacy of any product that offers relief for dry mouth. Based on the research quoted above, there is a clear correlation between CPAP therapy and dry mouth. The studies also indicate that XyliMelts® is a good treatment for dry mouth based on empirical evidence, as well as the testimonials that many happy patients have left online.

Another Side Effect of Dry Mouth

Unfortunately, not only is dry mouth uncomfortable, it has been linked to bad breath and oral odor. Any time you are using a CPAP device, unfortunately, your mask, hose, and water tank are susceptible to picking up germs and bacteria from your mouth. This includes the same germs that can cause bad breath from dry mouth. Another unfortunate situation is that one of the things that are offered to help fight dry mouth and discomfort with CPAP therapy is a heated hose.

With a CPAP cleaner, you can effectively sanitize your device with an automated process that is as simple as the touch of a button.

Warm moist environments are the perfect place for all bacteria to grow as well as molds, fungi, and viruses. With this being the case, all CPAP users must ensure that their CPAP equipment is getting cleaned regularly.

Best CPAP Cleaner and Your Device Maintenance

Let Best CPAP Cleaner help you with the everyday maintenance portion of your CPAP use. Contact us about a CPAP Cleaner today!

Here at Best CPAP Cleaner, we understand that CPAP therapy can be uncomfortable and a hassle already, without adding cleaning and maintenance to the pile of added activities. That being said, we also understand better than most the importance of ensuring your CPAP equipment is disinfected regularly. Unfortunately, this is even more important for those users who are experiencing problems with dry mouth due to the added risk of bacteria.

Wash your CPAP hose, mask, and water tank can take time and create a mess, not to mention sometimes it can be ineffective. We know that you might not have the time needed to wait for all of the gear to dry or the space to leave it out all day, and that is ok! We are offering a more effective, easier, and quicker method that is guaranteed to kill over 99% of all unwanted pathogens.

With a CPAP cleaner, you can effectively sanitize your device with an automated process that is as simple as the touch of a button. With the cleaning power of UV or Ozone, you can be sure that your CPAP equipment has never been more disinfected. Check out the Lumin and Lumin Bullet, the SoClean, and the VirtuClean on our web site. (

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