Recent Blog Articles

Dry Mouth and Excessive Thirst

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.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.

Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.

  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »

I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.

Sign Me Up

Already a member? Login ».

Disclaimer:

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

Free Healthbeat Signup

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Thanks for visiting. Don't miss your FREE gift.

The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss...from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.