12 Dry Throat Causes: 9 Treatments You Can Try

Dry Throat Causes
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A dry throat is often characterized by rough, itchy, or scratchy throat pain. It is a common symptom of seasonal allergies. It can be due to hay fever, environmental factors, allergies, mild respiratory illness, and infection. In rare cases, a person can have a dry throat due to underlying causes.

But luckily, the dry throat causes can be treated at home with some simple home remedies.

Allergies occur when the body’s immune system thinks of a harmless substance (which is often known as an allergen) as harmful. Since the body tries to fight infections and wants to throw back any allergen substance, at that time, you can experience the symptoms of allergen, which include dry throat.

A dry throat can originate in a person’s throat when the mucous membranes dry out completely, and the body can no longer maintain the moistness of the air passages. There can be several factors to trigger dry throat in a person.

However, sore throat pain is usually not severe, and some home remedies available can be far more effective for treating dry throat than other antibiotics.

12 Dry Throat Causes

Waking up with a dry throat can be very irritating and frustrating when unsure about your dry throat. Moreover, when people experience dry throat, they often have a dry mouth associated with a dry throat. It is most likely to happen when you have poor sleep quality. Let us check out in detail what are the actual causes of dry throat in people.

1. Medical And Health Conditions

Several medical and physical health conditions can trigger a dry or sore throat. It typically occurs with a dry mouth. Health conditions which include diabetes, Sjogren’s syndrome, depression, and stress, can contribute to dry mouth problems.

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Some studies found that dry mouth is more common in females due to their anatomical difference in the salivary glands. Even older adults who experience dry mouth symptoms are partly due to underlying health conditions. However, some people who have already experienced head and neck radiations can suffer from dry mouth.

2. Dehydration

Dehydration is the leading cause of dry mouth and other symptoms, including headaches or thirstiness. Staying in a dry environment or having mouth breathing can dry the throat, even if all these causes do not wholly lead to full-on dehydration.

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At night time, due to the natural fluctuation of the circadian rhythm, less saliva is released, which causes a dry throat, and it can be more noticeable in the morning time.

If you have mild dehydration, then it is not a big issue since you can prevent it by drinking plenty of fluids all around the day. But, if you suddenly wake up at night from using the bathroom, you should consider cutting down on fluids, especially alcohol and caffeine.

3. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Gastroesophageal reflux disorder or GERD is a condition that describes when the contents of the stomach come up through the esophagus. GERD can develop conditions of heartburn, sore throat, and wheezing. If you are lying down, then it can worsen the GERD symptoms. Due to gravity, the reflux will be much easier in this position.

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However, you can reduce these symptoms if the doctors recommend elevating the head of the bed and then avoiding the potential trigger foods.

4. Snoring

Snoring and sore throat happens simultaneously and shares the same risk factors. It includes smoking and obstructive sleep apnea. However, it is not clear whether snoring causes a sore throat or a sore throat is the reason for snoring.

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If you breathe through the mouth, it can dry out the throat in people who often snore. The vibrations from the snoring can irritate the throat.

5. Sleep Apnea

People who have sleep apnea problems are more prone to experience dry mouth when waking up from sleep. The chances of having a dry mouth when waking up increase more with the severity of the sleep apnea.

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One can prove the connection between dry mouth and sleep apnea due to the body mass index differences rather than sleep apnea. It was also seen that obesity played a significant role in the risk factors of sleep apnea. The obesity of a person experiencing sleep apnea contributes majorly to salivary gland dysfunction.

People who face sleep apnea often breathe with the mouth, which can be a reason for the dry mouth and strep throat.

6. Allergies

One can face seasonal allergies. The primary symptom of allergic rhinitis is a nasal obstruction known as hay fever. There are frequent causes for which a person can face a scratchy throat. You can have allergies if your immune system overreacts to some external environmental triggers. It can be

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  • Pollen

  • Dust

  • Foods

  • Mold

  • Pet dander

  • Grass

Thus, allergies can cause your body to release the histamines, which are potent enough to irritate the membranes in the throat. This effect leads to dryness and sore throat.

However, a person having seasonal allergies can cause the immune system to release histamines, which can cause dry cough, hoarse voice, and stuffy nose sneezing. The histamine which is released by the immune system due to an allergic reaction can cause

  • Stuffy or runny nose

  • Cough stuffy

  • Tonsil fever

  • Itchy skin, eyes, or mouth

7. Common Cold

Most adults are afflicted with the common cold at least two to three times a year. Even the children can come into a contract with the viruses more often. The viral infections can cause dry throat, and other symptoms usually accompany them. You can face

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  • Cough

  • Body aches

  • Sneezing

  • Mild fever

  • Stuffy nose

8. Flu

Flu is very similar to the common cold, but it is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. Though the flu symptoms are more severe than that of the common cold. It can often lead to severe complications. The sever health complications can occur in

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  • Young children

  • Older adults

  • People who have chronic medical conditions or have weakened immune systems

9. Strep Throat

Strep throat can also be a significant cause of your dry throat. It is an infection that is caused by bacteria. If a strep throat causes your dry throat, then you will not only see your throat will dry, but it can also become sore, which can further be accompanied with

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  • Fever

  • Body aches

  • Swollen lymph nodes

  • Swollen tonsils

  • White patches next to your tonsils

10. Keeping Your Mouth Open While Sleeping

Sleeping with your mouth open can make you a victim of a dry throat. When sleeping with your mouth open, the air you breathe in can evaporate the moisture and saliva from your throat. It leads to a dry and scratchy throat feeling. Moreover, this can habit can even lead to

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  • Bad breath

  • Snoring

  • Fatigue

11. Shouting

In a study in Brazil, people who have to talk more frequently for their jobs often experience voice failure, hoarseness, and dry or burning throat.

When followed by excessive use of the voice, a sore throat can lead to a physical strain on the muscles involved with the throat. Furthermore, it results in a dry throat.

12. Smoking

Smoking cigarettes can significantly contribute to the sore throat of smokers and people around them. The tobacco and nicotine content in cigarettes often irritates the nasal passages and interferes with the body’s self-cleaning mechanism.

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It can even dampen the immune system and directly influence pain and other sensory pathways.

Treatment For Dry Throat

The most effective way to soothe dry throat in the morning depends on the causes of sore throat. If allergies cause a sore throat, it would be best to treat the person by removing the allergen sources and then taking antihistamines to remove a chemical called histamine. But there are more healthy habits that help you reduce a dry throat in the early morning.

  • Stay well hydrated throughout the day.

  • Eliminating all allergen sources.

  • Use a humidifier in your living room.

  • Do not breathe with your mouth; instead, breathe with your nose.

  • Treat more serious underlying conditions. An underlying cause can be sleep apnea.

  • Eat soft foods which are not too spicy or dry.

  • Try to chew gum often.

  • Drink warm liquids.

  • Get rid of anti-inflammatories.

  • Ice chips or throat lozenge can be a good relief for your sore throat infection.

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However, people who have dry mouth due to some underlying infection or health conditions must ask their doctor for some mouth spray to relieve the dry throat symptoms. But, the sprays are not typically advised for long-term use.

There is also an alternative for adjusting the dosage or the timing of medications, through which you will not suffer from dry mouth.

Dry mouth is responsible for the risk of dental problems. People who wake up with a dry mouth more often should pay extra attention to dry mouth for their oral hygiene.

Let us look at some other treatments.

1. Treat Dehydration

The amount of water you should drink daily depends on your climate, body weight, and activity level. Ideally, men should drink around 16 cups of water, while women must have 12 cups daily to keep their bodies well-hydrated.

But drinking water is not only enough. You also have to avoid caffeinated drinking beverages, sodas, and alcohol which can again dehydrate your body in a short period.

2. Treat Allergy

To get relief from the continuous irritation in your throat, you may think of trying over-the-counter medications, antihistamines, or some nasal sprays.

But there are some long-term solutions too, which can be necessary for testing your allergy and finding out the allergen sources.

3. Treat Common Cold

Many viruses can cause the common cold in most people. Even antibiotics are ineffective for treating these conditions.

However, to soothe your scratchy throat, you may try

  • Consider taking over-the-counter pain relievers.

  • You should drink some extra fluids more often.

  • Try to do gargle with some warm water and a pinch of salt.

  • A humidifier at night is recommended.

4. Treat Flu

Common cold and flu symptoms are very similar. The best treatment for severe complications is to follow a similar treatment plan for the common cold since they both have a common symptom.

5. Treat Strep Throat

Strep throat infection is caused by bacteria and is not a viral infection, so that you can treat this condition with the given antibiotics. It becomes crucial for the patient to take the total dose of antibiotics, or else the bacteria may stay alive in the system.

Later it can develop into a resistant bacteria and attack you again. As the antibiotics fight infections, you can gargle your throat with warm water and with a pinch of salt

6. Prevent Sleeping With Your Mouth Open

Many people sleep with their mouths open. If you face nasal congestion or nasal polyps, it can disturb the passing of adequate air to the body during nighttime.

To prevent this, you can use an adhesive nasal strip on the bridge of your nose to keep the nasal passages open and keep the airflow rate constant.

7. Treat Acid Reflux

To treat the acid reflux in you, follow these medical treatments.

  • Eating less and more often.

Try to avoid eating big meals at once. Instead, eating your meal after frequent breaks can reduce acid reflux in your body.

  • Stop Smoking Tobacco

Smoking is potent in reducing the tone of th valve, which stores the acid in the stomach.

  • Maintain A Constant Weight

Extra weights can give you additional pressure on the stomach. It can push the acid back up the food pipe.

  • Stop Eating Junk Foods

Foods that contain extra spice and fats, and have a high amount of caffeine, can increase the acid reflux symptoms in your body.

  • Try To Wear Loose Fit Clothes

If you wear loose-fit clothes, it can reduce the added pressure on the stomach. Furthermore, it will help in reducing the acid reflux symptoms.

  • Use Antacids

Using antacids can significantly help you neutralize the stomach acid and relieve you from the acid reflux.

8. Treat Tonsils Fever

To treat tonsils, you can

  • Rest a day or two

  • Take medically reviewed ibuprofen and acetaminophen to relieve the pain.

  • Treat the bacterial infection with the use of antibiotics

  • Breathe more in humid air, and suck lozenges to soothe your throat

  • Stay hydrated.

9. Treat Hay Fever

The medically reviewed medicines prescribed for har fever treatment include

  • Antihistamine medications. There is a chance that this medicine is prescribed or given over the counter.

  • Nasal decongestants.

  • Eye drops moisturizer.

  • Nasal sprays, tablets, and eye drops.

  • Allergen immunotherapy (allergy shots).

Immunotherapy includes increasing the exposure to allergens in a controlled condition. It aims to help the human body’s immune system become tolerant of them, which gradually reduces allergy symptoms over time.

When To Visit A Doctor

Some dry throat causes can be treated directly from home with the help of some home remedies. But for some cases, there can be some underlying causes, and you should rush to your doctor.

You should always seek treatment, not after realizing your health complications. Here are some situations when you should visit your doctor.

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  • Frequent sore throats without any reasonable cause.

  • Having trouble swallowing or breathing.

  • Facing dry throat for a long time, even after taking self-care precautions.

  • Infection symptoms from fever or joint pain.

  • When you find white or burning patches in the mouth

  • Having chest pain

  • Fatigue

  • Rash

A doctor will give you a medical evaluation when the dry throat lasts for more than two weeks.

However, there is some natural remedy that can help you to prevent dry throat.

  • Ginger

In a study in 2016, it was proved that ginger has anti-inflammatory properties,w which can reduce hay fever symptoms.

  • Garlic

Garlic is an excellent source of quercetin, which has an antioxidant and antihistamine effect. It can help you to deal with allergy symptoms and the common cold.

  • Onion

Treating yourself with onion paste can heal you from hay fever. Onions are a good source of quercetin.


A dry throat can occur due to various medical conditions, including allergies. When you find that your dry throat isn’t recovering even after staying hydrated or following other precautions, you must hurry up to your doctor.

Your health care provider will run some diagnoses to find out the exact problem. Underlying medical health complications are often responsible for runny nose, itchy skin, and dry throat. So, it would help if you did not neglect your sore throat.

Dry throat causes sore throat and can even trigger more serious health complications. If you have allergy symptoms, your care provider will run some allergy tests and see if you have any allergen triggers.

Having allergy symptoms and signs of a head cold, sleeping with your mouth open, dehydration, and low saliva production, especially during winter, can cause your dry throat. To relieve nose and throat symptoms, you can drink warm liquids and gargle every morning. Precaution is always better than treatment, so you should go for a check-up more often to stay healthy and fit.

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Susanta Biswas
I'm a tech enthusiast, who loves researching about technical items used in health centers. I hold a degree in technology and love sharing my tech-health-related research with folks here with Icy Health. Hope you will find some interesting things to learn about your health.
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