Quenching my thirst causes a foul taste
December 28, 2009 9:26 PM   Subscribe

Whenever I wake up in the middle of the night and drink a glass of water, I always wake up with a foul taste in my mouth. Why is this?

If I don't get up for a drink of water at night, then I always wake up as usual, but as soon as I have a drink in the middle of the night, I'm always waking up with a foul taste.

How come?
posted by FusiveResonance to Grab Bag (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
because whenever there is a foulness brewing inside you that was sufficient to wake you to up to have a drink in the night, it continues to be foul in the morning?
posted by kch at 9:30 PM on December 28, 2009

I don't know too much about these things, but maybe the added moistness in your mouth stimulates bacteria creation? There's bacteria in your mouth, and when they multiply, it stinks.
posted by malapropist at 9:36 PM on December 28, 2009

A few more possibilities:

1. It's the same foulness, but the added moisture is allowing you to taste it more fully.
2. You diluted your germ-killing saliva and provided the germs a better growing environment.
3. Your water is chock full of algae and other foul-tasting nasty contaminants.

Maybe you aren't flossing, brushing, and scraping your tongue enough. Take a probiotic and try using Listerine before bed and as soon as you wake up and see what happens.
posted by aquafortis at 9:40 PM on December 28, 2009

If I may add some data (and possible experiment for the OP), I have the same issue with mouthwash. No mouthwash before bed and everythign is peachy in the morning. Mouthwash before bed and it's minty fresh at bedtime and gross in the morning. Try adding some mouth wash to the mix and report back with your results.

ANyway, this would seem to suggest it's not an added bacteria issue.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:54 PM on December 28, 2009

Two thoughts pulled out of my ass. Admittedly some of the other (probably more likely) alternatives I thought of first were already mentioned.

Perhaps your pre-bed ritual brushing/mouthwash/whatever puts up some kind of bacteria inhibiting barrier, which is rinsed away by drinking water.

Is there some other factor that coincides with waking up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water? Like if the only times you ever get up to get a drink are when you're dehydrated from drinking alcohol or something.
posted by cali59 at 10:15 PM on December 28, 2009

I'll assume that your teeth are in decent condition. Look at your tongue. If it's anything other than pink, then you have bacterial overgrowth and you need to brush your tongue (with a toothbrush and paste) at bedtime and probably also once or twice during the day. A vigorous rinse with mouthwash at bedtime is also good. If these are ineffective, then swishing 0.12% chlorhexidine gluconate might work better than mouthwash; I can't remember whether it requires a prescription. But definitely start with tongue brushing. [I am a doctor. I might even be your doctor.]
posted by neuron at 10:20 PM on December 28, 2009

Happy saliva mouth doesn't get stinky. Dry, not-enough-saliva mouth gets stinky. My guess is that you're waking up to get water because your mouth is dry, and that dry mouth is what is also causing the smell.
posted by kathrineg at 10:37 PM on December 28, 2009 [3 favorites]

Totally random thought: if you are not letting the water run a bit before you fill up your cup, you could be getting some potentially nasty copper-oxide laden water. Ever smelled a penny that's been in water for a while? Stinky.
posted by No New Diamonds Please at 12:18 AM on December 29, 2009

This explains why water makes it taste bad. You need water to taste things. So it's already there. You could have a sinus problem, need a teeth cleaning, or something else. No way to tell unless you get a dental exam.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:29 AM on December 29, 2009

Are you sleeping with your mouth open due to dryness? That makes my mouth taste like dead birds. It might not be the water. Like Katherineg said -- maybe the dryness.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 5:52 AM on December 29, 2009

Maybe yo're putting too much liquid in your stomach and burping up stomach acid in your sleep? Why are you waking up that thirsty?
posted by doctor_negative at 6:56 AM on December 29, 2009

Taking any medications? Some have side effects including dry mouth and bitter tastes.
posted by rosswald at 9:53 AM on December 29, 2009

Sounds like acid reflux, especially if you are going right back to bed after you drink.
posted by vees at 9:54 AM on December 29, 2009

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