Elderly Couple Embracing and Smiling

Aging is inevitable. It is a natural process everyone goes through in life. Growing older does not always have a negative effect on overall health. What is often seen, as time passes, is that our muscles, bones, blood vessels, and other tissues lose their elasticity. Even our heart becomes less efficient, bones become weaker, and our metabolism slows down. Regular professional overall health care is important at any age, but especially as we grow older because we become more susceptible to certain oral diseases and conditions. To help you have a healthy smile at any age, In Motion Dentists offers elderly dental care services as part of our mobile dentistry services.

Our Approach to Caring for the Elderly

In Motion Dentists caters to the dental needs of the aging population and those that might experience disabilities later in life. Our doctors work closely with:

  • Board and Care Homes
  • Memory Care Facilities
  • Senior Living Facilities
  • Independent Living
  • Intensive Care Facilities
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities
  • Private Homes
  • And More.

Elderly patients who reside in the greater Los Angeles County and Orange County and require dental services can rely on In Motion Dentists to provide age-appropriate and empathetic service. Our mobile dentists – Dr. Banner, Dr. Marc, and Dr. Wessling – aim to deliver patient-centered care and involve each patient’s family members as requested. Their approach gives the families or caregivers a clearer idea of how to further take care of their loved ones.

Our team also works with insurance and financing providers to make sure our elderly dental care services are affordable.

Why Seniors Require Our Services

The aging population who live in board and care and nursing homes are at greater risk for oral health problems than those who live independently. Even though some seniors have dentures, it is still important to take care of their oral hygiene. Oral health is linked to many other health issues, such as heart disease, diabetes, and an increased risk of pneumonia.

In Motion Dentists offers services to anyone who needs in-home dental care in Los Angeles and Orange County, even those who reside in nursing homes. Our services provide more than just an exam. We offer complete, comprehensive, and age-appropriate dental services right in your home or care facility in Los Angeles and Orange County. There is no need to arrange transportation to the dental office when we come to you.

The Anatomical Changes in Teeth

As we age, the structure and strength of our bones are altered. Our bones are constantly remodeled, as they are in a continuous cycle of degeneration and regeneration. Unfortunately, as we get older, we lose more bone than the body generates. Bone strength and loss can result in tooth loss as our jawbones hold our teeth in place. Losing teeth is a significant reason why the Geriatric population cannot chew as well, resulting in malnutrition. In addition to the changes in bone physiology and anatomy, teeth also alter with age. Commonly, tooth enamel wears away with time, making your teeth more susceptible to damage and decay.

Common Dental Issues

Some of the most common dental issues that the aging population have:

Uneven Jawbonecaused by not replacing missing teeth. When missing teeth are not replaced, bone alteration occurs causing depressions in the jaw bone.

Tooth Loss– caused by advanced gum disease, large cavities, and bone loss.

Gum Diseasecaused by plaque build-up and are worse if there are poorly placed fillings, poorly fitted bridges, and ill-fitting dentures, as well as certain diseases including diabetes, high blood pressure, and many others.

Dry Mouth– due to reduced saliva flow. This can be caused by a history of cancer treatments that use radiation to the head and neck area. It is also a very common side effect of certain medications.

Root Decaycaused by the roots of the tooth becoming exposed as gum tissue recedes. Roots do not have enamel to protect them and are more prone to decay. The main reason root decay occurs is food pocketing between the teeth. This food needs to be brushed, flossed or flushed out after each meal.

Food Pocketingoften a result of certain medical conditions, it may be difficult for a person to swallow food properly. When they eat, they often do not realize that food is between their teeth.  This worsens when there is decreased saliva flow and dry mouth. As a result, cavities form faster and often on the roots of the teeth.

Mouth Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, there are about 35,000 cases of oral cancer diagnosed each year. The average age of people who get this kind of cancer is 62. Regular dental visits are crucial as they maintain oral hygiene and health with yearly cleanings and oral cancer screenings. The early stages of oral cancer typically do not cause pain. Some symptoms you may experience include open sores, white or reddish patches, and a change in the color of lips, tongue, and lining of the mouth that lasts for more than two weeks. It is important to be aware of these signs and symptoms. See your dentist if they do not go away after two weeks.

Tools We Use to Assist in Treatment

When treating Los Angeles and Orange County elderly patients, it can make the process of completing treatment a little difficult. The equipment and tools we use during procedures consist of the same tools we use for our special needs patients in Los Angeles and Orange County. Please visit our “Special Needs Dental Care” Page for more information about the tools we use. We want to make sure our patients are comfortable during treatment, and we use these tools to make treatment more efficient.

Oral Hygiene Tips

Daily brushing and flossing are essential to keeping up your oral health. Often flossing is difficult or impossible. In these cases, we recommend using a water flosser, such as a WaterPik to clean in between the teeth. With seniors especially, plaque can build up quickly, and if neglected, it can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. To maintain good oral health, it’s important for people – regardless of age to:

Brush at least twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste

Floss at least once a day or use a WaterPik (water flosser) if unable to floss

Rinse with antiseptic mouthwash (Choose one that doesn’t have alcohol as alcohol can cause dry mouth)

Most tap water contains fluoride; it helps prevent tooth decay no matter how old you are

Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet that includes dairy and high fiber foods

Visit your dentist on a regular schedule for cleanings and oral exams