Apr 25, 2018 by Lisa Carson RN, BSN
It’s Oral Cancer Awareness month, and since seniors have the highest risk of developing oral cancer it’s a good idea for your loved one to schedule a visit to their dentist in Lubbock. Seniors should actually see their dentists twice a year, usually every six months. A thorough dental exam and cleaning combined with a good oral hygiene routine of daily brushing and flossing can help seniors lower their risk of developing oral cancer.
Fortunately, there are many ways older adults can ensure adequate oral hygiene and prevent oral cancer. Seniors should also not smoke in order to lower their risk of cancer. If you have a loved one who needs help upholding their dental hygiene, or help to quit smoking, can get extra support and help from Comfort Keepers elder care services.
A dentist will also check their face, mouth, tongue, neck, and throat for possible signs of oral cancer. In addition, seniors who wear dentures can expect to answer several questions about them and take them out so that a dentist can inspect them for issues.
Some of the most common dental concerns among the older population include darkened teeth, lost teeth, a diminished sense of taste, dry mouth, gum disease, root decay, and uneven jawbones. Oral cancer is one of the most serious dental concerns and can occur anywhere in the mouth area. Seniors with oral cancer often display symptoms such as chewing or swallowing challenges, a lump, sore, or irritation on the mouth, lip, or throat, jaw swelling, and white or red patches in the mouth.
During an oral exam, older adults will be asked questions related to changes in their mouth, loose or sensitive teeth, challenges with swallowing or chewing, lumps, bumps, or swellings in their mouth, and pain or discomfort. Seniors who don’t like going to the dentist usually find it comforting when an elder care services provider goes with them to their appointments.
In the same visit as their oral exam, seniors can expect a dental cleaning. A dental cleaning involves a dental hygienist removing plaque and tartar, brushing the teeth with a high-powered electric toothbrush, and flossing the teeth in all areas including the ones that are hard to reach.
If you have a loved one in Lubbock, TX who could benefit from a little extra help with household tasks, personal care, or getting to and from appointments contact us today. One of our home care specialists will be happy to tell you more about the benefits of elder care services for seniors in Lubbock, TX.