About 4 million Americans suffer from dry mouth at any given time. It is uncomfortable and irritating for most, but it can have a serious effect on your dental health. As I have discussed in several of my postings, saliva has an important protective benefit for your teeth and mouth. Saliva, when it flows normally, protects your teeth by washing away bacteria and redepositing enamel enhancing minerals such as calcium back into your teeth, which undoes some of the initial damage or wear done to your teeth by every day living. However, many people have underactive salivary glands due to a number of factors: diet, medical issues, medicine and drugs taken, alcohol and tobacco use, and hydration.