One area of heightened concern for older patients is oral cancer.  The risk for this disease increases with age, with over 95% of oral cancers occurring in individuals of 45 years of age or older.

So, it is especially important that elderly patients regularly receive an oral examination that includes three essential factors:

  • Medical History :  In order to better identify developing conditions that may increase the risk of disease, as well as to discern the causes of these changes, a review of the patient’s medical and dental history is imperative.  These records can offer important information for evaluating current and developing conditions.
  • Visual Assessment : During regular visits to the doctor or dentist, patients should receive a visual assessment of the head, neck, and mouth.  By slightly drying surfaces inside the mouth and using a bright light, even the slight changes which may indicate developing disease may be recognized.
  • Palpation :  As a part of a cancer screening, doctors or dentists should also use manual palpation around the lymph nodes in the neck.  These can be helpful to identify potential sites of concern even when a lesion is not easily visible.  Lymph nodes are one of the most important indicators in a patient with oral cancer, so regular examination for abnormality is a must.

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If you or someone you love is in need of in home dental care, Geriatric House Call Dentistry can help.  Working with families, caretakers, and physicians, we aim to provide the best possible care for our older patients.  Contact us today to learn more about house call dentistry or to schedule an appointment.

Dr. Kauffman Making Housecalls