It is considered that a quarter of people in Bath suffer from dry mouths, and it gets more prevalent with age and it’s caused by a myriad of things. Certain medications can affect the salivary gland, reducing the amount of saliva produced. Radiotherapy too can damage these glands. Bad diet, smoking, blocked sinuses, anxiety and dehydration can also reduce saliva in the mouth leaving it extremely vulnerable to other problems. Saliva is important to the health of the mouth. It breaks down the acids in foods and fights the bacteria that forms plaque and if a dry mouth is allowed to continue and go untreated, the plaque build up can lead to gum disease and invariably, dental decay, cavities and eventually tooth loss and decay can be expensive to treat. A dry mouth will also affect speech and lead to bad breath. Regular check-ups become important with a dry mouth, to monitor any growth in gum disease or tooth decay and to get advice on ways of tackling the problem. Dental hygiene and diet are the important factors in this. Drinking lots of water, avoiding caffeine based drinks, sucking sugar free sweets and ice cubes all aid the problem as does avoiding smoking and heavy smoking.