Dry throat at night and in the morning


A dry throat can be caused by:

  • excessive evaporation of fluid on the oral mucosa;
  • decreased saliva production due to disease or dysfunction of the salivary glands.

Diseases of the salivary glands

Infectious diseases

A) Acute inflammation (sialadenitis)
Cause may be a bacterial or viral infection.
The most important acute viral infection is mumps (parotitis epidemica), which is caused by the paramixovirus and affects both parotid glands (bilateral).
Bacterial sialadenitis is mainly caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus and usually hits the glands affected by chronic inflammatory diseases, usually occurring on only one side (monolateral).
Complications of infection include the formation of abscesses.

b) Chronic inflammation

  • Non-specific forms: As a rule, they are the result of recurrent inflammation (recurrences) that cause pain and swelling. Over time, hardening may occur and the gland may lose volume.
  • Specific forms: The cause is bacterial inflammation. The most common is the tuberculous form, actinomycosis, on the contrary, is very rare.

Sjögren’s syndrome

The salivary glands can be affected by rheumatological diseases.
A distinction is made between:

  1. Primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS): dry mouth (xerostomia) and dry eyes occur unaccompanied by other diseases.
  2. Secondary Sjögren’s syndrome (sSS): These two symptoms are the result of rheumatoid arthritis or other collagen diseases.

It is an autoimmune disease with slow development; the glandular tissue degenerates, replacing the cells with cells of the immune system.
Over time, the glandular tissue is completely destroyed.

Symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome include drying of mucous membranes; there is a reduced production of:

  • Saliva
  • tear fluid,
  • all other glandular secretions.

Saliva stones (sialolithiasis)

Saliva stones can cause sudden swelling and pain in the affected gland (the parotid gland and mandibular salivary gland may be affected, but the sublingual salivary gland is not afflicted by salivary stones).

The cause of stone formation is a pH change in saliva, so that the dissolved salts settle and accumulate.
The consequences are:

  • slowed salivation,
  • Blockage of the saliva ducts.

This leads to acute inflammation of the affected salivary glands, which is characterized by:

  • Swelling
  • Pain when eating, which gets better a few hours after the meal.

Salivary gland tumor

The salivary glands can develop benign and malignant tumors.
However, these are little-known areas because these tumors are not common.
Pleomorphic adenoma is a benign tumor and, with a share of 80%, a common neoplasia of the salivary glands.
That is why the doctor tends to underestimate this mass. In 20% of cases, this is an extremely serious error.

Malignant tumors
Overall, they are rare. In addition, malignant tumors of the parotid gland are less common than malignant tumors of the mandibular salivary gland.
The ratio between benign and malignant tumors is 4 to 1 in the parotid gland and 1 to 1 in the smaller salivary glands and mandibular salivary glands.
In the sublingual salivary gland, the vast majority of tumors are malignant.

Symptoms associated with dry throat

Dry throat can be a sign of a very serious problem. In addition, it can be accompanied by many other symptoms.

  • Loss of taste. In addition to influencing salivation, dryness in the throat and mouth also affects the mac papillae in the mouth.
  • Aphthae. Aphthae in the mouth are ulcers (lesions) that provoke difficulty swallowing saliva. The possible consequence is a dry throat.
  • Frequent thirst. If you have a dry throat, it is normal to drink plenty of water to improve this condition.
  • Swallowing disorders. With dry throat, the patient has problems swallowing the food.
  • Halitosis. Decreased saliva production causes dry mouth. Dry mouth is a different disorder than dry throat, but they can occur together. This leads to bad breath, because the bacteria remain in the mouth instead of being eliminated by the saliva.

Causes of dry throat when waking up in the morning

Often we have a dry throat in the winter time in the morning. One of the causes is the dry air. The climate is cold and drier in winter than in summer. In addition, in the house, the humidity of the inhaled air is reduced by the heating. This can lead to a dry throat.
Air conditioning in summer can have the same effect.

Sleeping habit You can ask family members or friends if you sleep with your mouth open or snore during the night.
When you breathe through your mouth, the air is not filtered and heated by your nose. The result is throat irritationLifestyle A dry throat in the morning can be a consequence of lifestyle. The habit of smoking or chewing tobacco can also cause deadly diseases such as cancer.

Sleep apnea
Sleep apnea occurs when the patient stops breathing several times during sleep.
The reason is a blockage of the airways. Often, patients suffering from sleep apnea sleep with their mouths open.
As a result, the throat may be dry at night and upon awakening.

Dehydration can lead to dry and aching throat in the morning. The causes can be:

  • Fever
  • profuse sweating,
  • Vomit
  • Diarrhoea
  • Loss of blood
  • Lack of drinking.


Dry throat with itching

Irritation of the throat can be the result of:

  • Allergy
  • Cold
  • Stay in dry air.

Sore throat is a symptom that occurs especially in winter. Dehydration and irritation are not as severe, but the inflammation can be caused by various factors.
When the inner walls of the neck are inflamed, they often lead to:

  • persistent cough,
  • Irritation (pinching in the throat).

Causes of dry throat with itching
In addition to a stay in dry air, many other causes can be the cause. Singing with a loud voice for a long time can lead to throat irritation.
Causes include:

  • Sore throat
  • Cold
  • Influenza
  • some types of allergies, such as pollen and food allergies, or allergies to industrial pollutants,
  • smoking (active and passive),
  • Dehydration
  • laryngeal tuberculosis,
  • Sinusitis
  • chronic cough.

Dry throat in the evening and at night

Nocturnal throat dryness is a common disorder.


Nasal congestion
Those who suffer from nasal congestion breathe through their mouth during sleep. If this is the case, the throat becomes irritated and dry.

Air pollution Smoking and air pollution
are other reasons for a dry throat. If smoke or other pollutants are inhaled during the day, the throat may become inflamed in the evening.
Those who suffer from dry throat should refrain from smoking or stay away from smokers, because passive smoking can be just as dangerous as active smoking.

Dry throat can be caused by an allergic reaction to a particular food.
House dust and pollen can cause dry throat in allergic individuals.
Symptoms also include:

  • Cold
  • nasal congestion,
  • Itching in the throat.

Cough With a persistent cough, coughing attacks may occur at night in a lying position. This can lead to a dry and irritated throat.

infections of the paranasal sinuses can provoke various symptoms, such as:

  • Headache
  • pain between the eyes,
  • cheeks and jaws,
  • Cold
  • blocked ears,
  • Dry throat.

Often infections in the sinuses worsen at night while lying down.

Gastroesophageal reflux
In this condition, gastric fluid flows back into the esophagus, causing irritation of the throat. Those who suffer from reflux often also suffer from dry throat and other symptoms, such as:

  • Heartburn
  • burning in the throat,
  • difficulty swallowing,
  • Nausea
  • bitter taste in the mouth.

Stress and anxiety can cause dry throat or the feeling of a lump in the throat. Sometimes this is felt before bedtime or as soon as you lie down.

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