People are keeping their teeth longer than ever before. In the past, people expected that they would eventually lose all of their teeth and have to get a denture. This is no longer the expectation of most individuals. Retaining teeth for 80+ years instead of 40 or 50 has allowed for new challenges to arise in the lives of many patients. Many patients have to take a variety of medications as they age that decrease the flow of saliva. This leads to dry mouth, a condition that is called Xerostomia. Because of the decrease in saliva in an individual’s mouth, the bacteria and the acid they produce are not washed away or inactivated as effectively. This can lead to rapid and rampant decay in a mouth that has had relatively few problems in the past. These findings will often come as a surprise to both patient and dentist alike during a routine exam. It you are experiencing dry mouth it is important to seek out the counsel of your oral health care providers. Prescription toothpastes and rinses may help to protect the teeth. More frequent cleanings may be needed. Keeping the mouth moist with water or over-the-counter salivary substitutes will also help. Avoid sugary candies that may allow your body to increase saliva in your mouth but also feeds the bacteria and can increase the amount of damage they can cause. Instead, use sugar-free candy that will increase saliva without feeding the bacteria. The earlier dry mouth is addressed, the better chance you have of avoiding problems down the road.