Difference Between Axillary and Oral Temperature (With Table)

The body temperature gives us the first sign of something occurring wrong inside our body. Body temperature is usually measured at three places: by putting the thermometer inside the mouth- under the tongue, placing the thermometer in the armpit and third in the rectal area.

Axillary vs Oral Temperature

The difference between axillary and oral temperature is that Axillary temperature may be preferable in the case of newborns. The actual body temperature is 99.6°F if the axillary temperature is 98.6°F. However, on the contrary, a tiny child’s oral temperature should not be taken since it is extremely risky if they do not sit still. If the oral temperature is 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the real body temperature is 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

The procedure of calculating temperature is called axillary temperature, when the body temperature is measured by maintaining or placing the thermometer under the armpit of an individual. Axillary temperature is not a reliable indicator of a person’s current body temperature. It does, however, show a reading that is one unit below the actual body temperature.

The procedure of calculating temperature is called oral temperature, when the temperature of the body is measured by placing the thermometer in the mouth or, to be more accurate, under the tongue. The true temperature is the temperature determined for the body at a specific time; it never varies from the genuine body temperature.

Comparison Table Between Axillary and Oral Temperature

Parameters of ComparisonAxillary TemperatureOral Temperature
Measured inUnder the tongue, inside the mouthUnder the armpit
AccuracyLess accurateMore accurate
For kids/infantsBetter for kids and infantsIt might be too dangerous for infants and kids, suitable for grown-ups.
CalculationReal body temperature can be obtained by adding 1 to the axillary temperature.Oral Temperature is equal to the real body temperature.
Cleaning and sanitizingNot required.Highly recommended, required.

What is Axillary Temperature?

The procedure of calculating temperature is called axillary temperature when the temperature of the body is measured by maintaining or placing the thermometer under the armpit of an individual.

Axillary temperature is not a reliable indicator of the body’s real temperature at any given moment. It does, however, indicate a reading that is one unit lower than the real body temperature. When measuring the body temperature using the axillary temperature, one must add a unit value to the axillary temperature to determine the precise body temperature.

The axillary temperature obtained may not be completely accurate due to a quick change or vibration in the thermometer. The thermometer does not need to be washed, cleaned, or sanitised before measuring axillary temperature.

The axillary temperature may be a preferable alternative in the case of newborns. If the axillary temperature is 98.6°F, the actual body temperature is 99.6°F at that location.

What is Oral Temperature?

The procedure of calculating temperature is called oral temperature, when the temperature of the body is measured by placing the thermometer in the mouth or under the tongue, to be precise.

The genuine temperature is the temperature calculated of the body at a specific time; it never varies from the real body temperature. No addition or subtraction to the numeric value of the temperature is required because the oral temperature obtained gives the true body temperature.

The oral temperature, which is taken from the inside of the mouth, is usually very accurate. To ensure that the thermometer is clean before placing it in the mouth to measure oral temperature, it should be washed or boiled.

A tiny child’s oral temperature should not be taken since it is extremely risky if they do not sit calmly. If the oral temperature is 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit, then the actual body temperature is also 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Main Differences Between Axillary and Oral Temperature

  1. When the temperature of the body is measured by keeping or placing the thermometer under the armpit of an individual, then this process of calculation of temperature is called axillary temperature. On the other hand, when the temperature of the body is measured by placing the thermometer in the mouth or under the tongue, to be precise, then this process of calculation of temperature is called oral temperature.
  2. Axillary temperature is not the correct measure of the body’s actual temperature at a particular time. However, it shows one unit value less than the actual body temperature. On the other hand, the temperature calculated of the body at a particular time is considered as the real temperature. It never fluctuates from the real body temperature.
  3. To know what is the exact body temperature while measuring the body temperature by the axillary temperature, one needs to add a unit value to the axillary temperature. On the other hand, the oral temperature acquired gives the real temperature of the body. Hence no addition or subtraction to the numeric value of the temperature is required.
  4. Sometimes due to a sudden change or vibration in the thermometer, the axillary temperature acquired may not be fully accurate. On the other hand, the oral temperature measured from the mouth generally gives an almost accurate temperature.
  5. To measure axillary temperature, washing, cleaning or sanitizing the thermometer is not required. On the other hand, before placing the thermometer in the mouth to measure oral temperature, it should be washed or boiled to make sure that it’s clean.
  6. In the case of infants, Axillary temperature can be a better option. On the other hand, the oral temperature should not be measured with a small kid or, in fact, as it can be too dangerous if they don’t sit calmly.
  7. If the axillary temperature came out to be 98.6°F, then the actual body temperature at that point is 99.6°F. On the other hand, if the measurement of the oral temperature comes out to be 99.6°F, then the actual body temperature is also the same, that is 99.6°F.

Conclusion

The first clue that something is wrong inside our bodies is when our body temperature rises. Body temperature is normally taken in three places: inside the mouth, beneath the tongue, in the armpit, and finally in the rectal area. When measuring the body temperature using the axillary temperature, a unit value must be added to the axillary temperature to determine the precise body temperature.

The axillary temperature obtained may not always be completely accurate due to a quick change or vibration in the thermometer. It is not necessary to clean, sanitise, or wash the thermometer before measuring axillary temperature. Whereas no addition or subtraction to the numeric value of the temperature is required because the oral temperature acquired gives the true body temperature.

The oral temperature, which is taken from the inside of the mouth, is normally very precise. The thermometer should be cleansed or boiled before being placed in the mouth to measure oral temperature.

References

  1. https://europepmc.org/article/med/11198790
  2. https://meridian.allenpress.com/jat/article-abstract/46/5/566/110675
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