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Dry mouth after surgery
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Dry mouth after surgery

I had shoulder surgery 11 days ago. Because of the sling I have to sleep on my back. (I usually sleep on my stomach). I wake up every hour with my mouth feeling like straw. I swish some water in my mouth and drink a little and go back to sleep.This continues all night. I think this is due to the anistesia but should it take so long to get out of my body. I am 77 years old.
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Avatar_f_tn
It could partially be due to the anesthesia, but also medications can cause or aggravate a dry mouth.  Are you still on any pain meds?  Or even antibiotics?

Definitely try to increase your fluid intake during the day, but stay away from things with caffeine, as that can have a diuretic effect on the body, making you feel even more dry and thirsty.  You may also want to try sucking on a piece of hard candy (even sugarless) - of course, don't do this when you're laying down, but doing so sometimes helps to "activiate" the salivary glands in your mouth so it doesn't feel so dry.

It's also possible that since you're not used to sleeping on your back, that since you are now, maybe you're ending up sleeping with your mouth open, as opposed to breathing through your nose.  Mouth breathing will definitely dry your mouth out much faster.  Unfortunately, I don't really know of any way to keep your mouth from dropping open when you fall asleep, but if you make sure your nose is very clear when you lay down - and not congested at all - it might help you to be able to breathe through your nose instead.

Best of luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for your answer. I am off strong pain meds. Only took them for 2 days. Stopped them over a week ago. The fact that I usually don't sleep on my back is the most logical reason. Tried to sleep sitting up with pillows behind me last night and only woke up twice with the straw feeling in my mouth.
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1355118_tn?1298568479
Hi, welcome to the forum, some of the medication will have anti cholinergic action which can cause dry mouth. This is basically due to decreased salivary formation. Dehydration can also be another cause.

You need to maintain your water intake chart. Take adequate fluids throughout the day. After a day or two you will be alright. This occurs with the patients post surgery. Take care and regards.
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