Do you have Dry Mouth, or is your mouth just dry? Here’s how to know the difference.

Do you have Dry Mouth, or is your mouth just dry? Here’s how to know the difference.

Having Dry Mouth is not the same as your mouth feeling dry. That may sound confusing, especially if you’ve never experienced true Dry Mouth, but Dry Mouth is a chronic condition -- something that persists despite your circumstances. It’s critical to know the difference between having a dry mouth and having Dry Mouth. If you’re suffering from the medical condition of Dry Mouth, this could lead to a number of health complications if you don’t treat it properly.

Since Dry Mouth is our area of expertise, we’ll break down the difference between lowercase dry mouth and upper case Dry Mouth -- he circumstantial and occasional dry mouth versus the Dry Mouth that requires medical attention.

You have lowercase dry mouth, if you only experience a dry mouth when you are:


Most of us have experienced a dry mouth before getting up to speak in front of people. Often referred to as “cottonmouth,” this is why you see so many speakers take a bottle of water with them on stage. A dry mouth is a fight-or-flight stress symptom. When you are in a fearful situation, your body may react with the ever-so-inconvenient case of cottonmouth at the podium. This doesn’t mean you have Dry Mouth. It just means you’re human.


If your dry mouth goes away after drinking a glass of water or another hydrating beverage, you don’t have Dry Mouth. Chronic Dry Mouth requires more than just water to take care of it.


We tend to breathe out of our mouths when we are stressed. This is one reason why stress and dry mouth often coincide, though the fight-or-flight stress response we mentioned above can also cause dry mouth during stressful situations. If your dry mouth subsides as your stress level lowers, you don’t have a serious case of Dry Mouth.

If you experience dry mouth in any of the above scenarios, you don’t have much to worry about. Those are natural biological responses and your dry mouth will go away when your nerves calm, when you quench your thirst or when your stress level lowers.

For those of you who suspect you might have something more than circumstantial dry mouth, the following are telltale symptoms of chronic Dry Mouth.

Difficulty chewing and swallowing

If chewing and swallowing food is more difficult due to dryness in your mouth, you’ve made the leap from a dry mouth to Dry Mouth. When you have Dry Mouth, eating and swallowing is difficult, as well as digestion, since saliva is essential to that process.

Stringy saliva

Thick stringy saliva is another symptom of Dry Mouth. Moisture in the mouth is needed to thin saliva. If your mouth isn’t moisturized enough, your saliva can become thick or stringy.

Chronic bad breath

Saliva is important to the quality of our breath because it moistens and cleanses our mouths. Without it, decomposing cells and bacteria growth can cause halitosis, also known as bad breath. If you have chronic Dry Mouth, your breath will suffer as a result.

All mouths get dry from time to time, but that doesn’t mean you have Dry Mouth. Watch your symptoms, notice what causes your dry mouth and if you suspect you have Dry Mouth, seek treatment as soon as possible. Dry Mouth can lead to a number or oral health problems like gum disease and tooth decay if left untreated.

Visit our product page to learn more about our unique line of HYDRALIEF™ Dry Mouth products that relieve Dry Mouth discomfort. If you’re still unsure if you have dry mouth or Dry Mouth, visit our Dry Mouth FAQ.