The Palisades Dentist Assist Homeless Task Force

Working in tandem were Palisades outreach worker Glanda Sherman, Dr. Cerisa Moncayo, Sarai Cornejo, Jennifer Dukes (PPTFH clinical case manager), and Tiffany Stewart (PPTFH Outreach).

Dr. Cerisa Moncayo and assistant Sarai Cornejo from The Palisades Dentists joined the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homeless on September 27 in the Vons grocery store parking lot.

Moncayo and Cornejo worked with the PPTFFH outreach team to offer hygiene guidance and kits to people experiencing homelessness.

“We are very thankful of this local business, trying to help those less fortunate,” said Sharon Kilbride, PPTFH’s co-president. “Dr. Moncayo enjoyed light conversations and served six individual’s experiencing homelessness and gave them dental advice and dental hygiene kits.”

Kilbride who has worked with the PPTFH since its inception in 2016 said, “Many of folks experiencing homelessness, have poor dental health due to lack of access of dental resources, drug use, poor diet and gum diseases.”

In a story in the Washington Post September 21, 2023, (“Take Care of Your Teeth and Gums. Oral Health Can Affect Your Brain”) it was pointed out that poor oral hygiene is associated with an increased risk for health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and even early death.

Scientists say that more research is needed but that oral health might be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s.

“Emerging evidence suggests that what goes on in our mouth can affect what goes on in our brain — and may even potentially affect our risk for dementia.”

‘People should really be aware that oral health is really important,’ said Anita Visser, professor in geriatric dentistry at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

This isn’t the first time Moncayo has provided services to people who can’t afford a dentist. After opening her office in Pacific Palisades in 2016, she donated her dental services to needy veterans and others associated with the Dream Center, an outreach program run by a church, the Angelus Temple, in downtown Los Angeles.

One of those people was missing her two front teeth, and after help from Moncayo said, “Oh gosh, I’m going to be able to smile again.” Moncayo said it was “indescribably rewarding.”

Moncayo’s father spent 20 years in the Navy, and she grew up both San Diego and near Santa Clarita. She had obtained her dental degree from USC in 2012, through a U.S. Navy program that provided dental education in exchange for service.

After obtaining her degree, Moncayo worked for four years at 29 Palms.

The Palisades Dentists is located at 881 Alma Real Drive (310) 459-2303.

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