The dentists with In Motion Dentists have long known that the older one gets, the more their risk factors for developing oral cancer increases. Therefore, oral cancer screenings are an important part of any dentists’ elderly dental care plan.
If you’re a caregiver to a senior citizen, you might be able to spot early warning signs of oral skin cancer growth. Here is a list of 7 risk factors that your special senior citizen might develop oral cancer.
1. Tobacco use
We all know that tobacco use, including smoking cigarettes or cigars or using chewing tobacco, increases a San Bernardino resident’s risk for cancer. This risk increases, the longer one has used tobacco, and the older one gets. This is why any senior citizen who uses any kind of tobacco product or did for an extended period of time in the past should be screened for oral cancer.
2. Prolonged sun exposure
Many of today’s senior citizens grew up in a time period in which we didn’t know about the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. Your mom, dad, grandma, or grandpa may even recall basking in baby oil to get a suntan! While prolonged sun exposure can cause lip cancer. Dr. Banner can screen for lip cancer as part of his elderly dental care routine.
For some reason, male senior citizens are more likely than females to develop oral cancer. Make sure your dad or grandpa always gets screened for oral cancer as part of his elderly dental care, especially if he has any of the other oral cancer risk factors.
4. Poor oral hygiene
Unfortunately, many San Bernardino senior citizens, especially those with dementia or other memory impairments, don’t practice proper oral hygiene. It isn’t always for lack of trying. Some seniors are just scared of regular dental care or uncooperative with caregivers.
However, improper oral hygiene is a leading cause of oral cancer in seniors, especially those with poorly fitting dentures, or those who have used alcohol or tobacco products throughout their lives. If it’s difficult to provide your loved one with the elderly dental care you know he or she needs, make sure Dr. Banner is aware so he can take an extra careful look at his or her mouth for signs of oral cancer.
5. Poor diet or nutrition
As San Bernardino senior citizens’ medical needs change, their diet and nutrition may be negatively impacted, especially if they’re no longer able to feed themselves. Poor diet or nutrition can be a risk factor for oral cancer, especially when a senior’s diet is low in fruits, vegetables, and vitamin A.
6. Weakened immune system
Many San Bernardino senior citizens develop a weakened immune system as they age. Whether due to an underlying medical diagnosis or a recent case of pneumonia, a weakened immune system can leave your loved one more susceptible to developing oral cancer. Elderly dental care is especially important for these senior citizens.
7. Marijuana use
While marijuana may be legal in California for medical and recreational use, it should still be avoided because of its link to causing oral cancer.
Contact Dr. Banner with Any Other Questions You Have About Caring for Your Loved One
Out dentists know that you want to avoid any potential health complications for your elderly loved one, especially oral cancer.
If your mom, dad, grandma, or grandpa has any of these risk factors, or you just want to know how to best provide at-home elderly dental care, contact In Motion Dentists in San Bernardino today at (626) 594-0374.