If you find your mouth feeling very dry often, you may start to wonder if you're not dealing with an average case of being thirsty. You might suspect that you have dry mouth. This is an actual medical condition that is more than just feeling thirsty—it carries with it some risks to your oral health. But how can you tell if you're just thirsty or if you're dealing with dry mouth?
What Is Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth is more than simply needing a drink. It occurs when the body no longer produces the right amount of saliva. This can make it difficult to swallow food. You may wake up with your tongue stuck to the top of the mouth. If you have dentures, you may find that it's difficult to keep them in place. Even small signs, such as having a lot of lipstick stuck to your teeth, can be a sign that your mouth isn't producing the saliva it needs to keep it clean. That's what saliva does, after all. It helps wash away debris and bacteria. Without it, you're more at risk for gingivitis, cavities, and other oral health issues. Dry mouth is more than just feeling thirsty, then. It's a sign that something is wrong with your body. In some cases, dry mouth is caused by a specific medical condition. In other cases, it can actually be caused by medications.
What About Thirst?
Thirst, on the other hand, is your body's reaction to the need for more fluids. If you're thirsty, you won't notice the same signs as you would with dry mouth. You will be able to swallow fairly easily, and you won't have as many problems with dentures or with your tongue sticking in your mouth. What you may discover, though, is that you're dehydrated. Thirst also often occurs after activities that deplete your body's resources, such as exercising. If you're concerned about dry mouth or aren't certain if you're experiencing dry mouth or thirst, give us a call. We will go over your symptoms to determine if you do have dry mouth.
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