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. This is because we become more susceptible to developing certain oral diseases and conditions.
Our Approach to Caring for the Elderly
In Motion Dentists caters to the dental needs of the aging population and those that might become disabled…often seen in later stages of 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. In Motion Dentists aims to deliver patient-centered care and involve patient’s family members as requested. This gives the families or caregivers a clearer idea of how to further take care of their loved ones.
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 increased risk of pneumonia.
In Motion Dentists offer 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 the Los Angeles and Orange County area. When we come to you, there is no need to arrange transportation to or from the dental office.
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:
- 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 Decay– caused 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.
- Gum Disease– caused 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.
- Food Pocketing– often 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.
- Tooth Loss– caused by advanced gum disease, large cavities, and bone loss.
- Uneven Jawbone– caused by not replacing missing teeth. When missing teeth are not replaced, bone alteration occurs causing depressions in the jaw bone.
Despite these issues, many Los Angeles and Orange County senior patients are retaining their teeth longer.
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.