What does it mean when you’re always thirsty? What illnesses may be behind this common symptom

The absence of saliva is a common problem that may only seem like a problem of discomfort, but dry mouth can affect both the pleasure of eating and the health of your teeth.

The medical term that defines dry mouth is xerostomia. Dry mouth can cause problems because saliva helps prevent tooth decay by limiting the growth of bacteria and removing food and plaque.

Saliva increases the ability to taste food and makes it easier to swallow.

In addition, the enzymes in saliva aid digestion.

Although treatment depends on the cause, dry mouth is often a side effect of certain medications. The condition can be improved by adjusting doses or changing the medicine.

If a person does not produce enough saliva, he or she may notice the following signs and symptoms: dry mouth; saliva that looks viscous, and sticky; cracks in the corners of the mouth; dry lips; bad breath; difficulty speaking and swallowing; dry, sore throat; altered sense of taste; fungal infections in the mouth; increased incidence of plaque, tooth decay and gum disease.

Stress and mental illness.

When we are stressed, we experience that “dry mouth” feeling. Stress experienced over long periods of time can lead to mental imbalances, anxiety and depression. All these are accompanied by that dry mouth feeling.

One of the most common reasons for dry mouth is excessive use of diuretics or blood pressure medication. Diuretics remove excess sodium from the body, but water is needed to remove the sodium.

When not enough water is consumed, blood pressure drops. Therefore, before deciding to take any blood pressure-regulating medication, it is best to consult a doctor.


Malnutrition is another possible reason for dry mouth. When the body doesn’t get enough food and water, the body’s functions are reduced. The activity of the salivary glands is also reduced. In this way the whole body will suffer from malnutrition.

Sugar (Diabetes).

If a patient complains of dry mouth, the first thing to check is the sugar level in the body. If, in addition, he feels the need for an unusual intake of food and water, but loses weight, it is clear that he is suffering from diabetes.


Dehydration can also occur when the body is subjected to high temperaturesk if the person has had recent vomiting or has had diarrhoea. It is normal to have that dry mouth feeling when we are dehydrated. The quickest way to get rid of dry mouth is to eat foods rich in potassium.

Tumour treatment.

Radiation treatment of malignant tumours affects the mucous membranes of the oesophagus, stomach and the entire intestinal system. This is why cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment experience dry mouth.

Other medical conditions.

Dry mouth can be a consequence of other medical conditions – or their treatments – including autoimmune Sjogren’s disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, HIV/AIDS, anxiety disorders and depression.

Stroke and Alzheimer’s disease can cause dry mouth, even though salivary glands function normally. Snoring and open-mouthed breathing can contribute to this problem.

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