Dry Mouth and Excessive Thirst

Welcome to the symptom guide regarding dry mouth and/or excessive thirst. We're sorry to hear you're having this problem!

This symptom guide is designed for persons who have noticed dryness of the mouth and/or unexplained thirst and would like to find out more about this condition. Please keep in mind that this guide cannot replace a face-to-face evaluation with your own doctor. It is meant to provide helpful information while you are awaiting further evaluation or to supplement what you may have already learned after evaluation with your doctor.

This guide will focus on dry mouth that has been persistent over time. Temporary dryness of the mouth may accompany nervousness, anxiety, and breathing through the mouth (as many people do when they sleep). Eating a salty or spicy meal can be a cause of temporary (though intense) thirst.

It's also worth mentioning that many people drink frequently out of habit. They may feel thirsty if unable to drink as often as they're used to even though there is no real disease causing the thirst. It can be hard to tell whether this is the cause of a person's thirst or dry mouth without first ruling out other possibilities.

You'll be asked a series of questions that will walk you through some of the most common causes that may explain your symptoms. The guide will cover the most common reasons for dry mouth; however, it won't cover every cause.

Okay, let's get started.

First, a question about your age. We ask because saliva production sometimes decreases with advancing age.

Are you at least 60 years old?

Yes, I'm at least 60 years old.

No, I'm younger than age 60.

Okay, age is less likely to be the reason for your dry mouth or excessive thirst. Sometimes a person who has a dry mouth also has dry eyes.

Do you also have dry eyes?

Yes, I have dry eyes as well as dry mouth.

No, I don't have dry eyes.

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