Anxiety symptoms can be frustrating, irritating, and even feel dangerous. One of those that falls into the irritating category is dry mouth anxiety.
Dry mouth anxiety is annoying and something you don’t want to have to deal with. But it’s fairly common with anxiety of any type.
Reasons for Dry Mouth Anxiety
There are several issues related to anxiety that can bring on the feeling of dry mouth. They are all common and experienced by many people with anxiety.
- Breathing through the mouth. Dry mouth anxiety can be brought on by a tendency everyone has who experiences anxiety: breathing through your mouth. This kind of breathing is frequent when you feel anxious, especially during a panic attack. You try to get enough air into your lungs, so your mouth pops open to suck more in. But this dries out your mouth and tongue, leading to that feeling of a desert suddenly appearing in your mouth.
- Stomach acid buildup. If you tend to have acid reflux, you’ll experience it more during significant anxiety symptoms. At times of a lot of anxiety, everybody is more prone to acid reflux. This causes the salivary glands to secrete less saliva, leading to the feeling of dry mouth. That sticky feeling in your mouth and a bad taste are also likely with acid reflux. Both of these symptoms are related to dry mouth anxiety.
- Changes in body fluids. When you’re under stress and anxiety, your body makes changes in your body fluids based on what it needs. It can move saliva and water in your body to those areas in need of more fluids. This then leaves your mouth dry.
- Dehydration. During times of anxiety, you probably won’t be drinking enough water. Your thoughts will be on the anxiety and not on your thirst. Also, people who don’t drink enough water are more likely to have anxiety symptoms that are more severe. So this begins a sort of vicious cycle. And, when you’re anxious, you’re more likely to be aware of physical sensations in your body. This makes you notice your dry mouth more.
What You Can Do About Dry Mouth Anxiety
Just like there are several reasons for dry mouth, there are several things you can do to help with it. These may not all work for everyone, but one or more should bring you relief.
- Drink more water. This seems simple on the surface, but most Americans don’t drink enough water whether they have anxiety or not. We need six to eight glasses of water every day. Drinking enough all the time will help with the feeling of dry mouth when you’re anxious.
- Good mouth hygiene. Brushing your teeth regularly and going to the dentist twice a year for check-ups are both important. If you have dry mouth from anxiety, this is a way to prevent any damage being done.
- Chew or suck on something. Something good for you, hopefully. This will keep the saliva flowing in your mouth.
- Breathe through your nose. Anxiety pushes us to mouth breathe, drying it out.