Posts for category: Oral Health

By Cohrs Family Dentistry
December 31, 2020
Category: Oral Health

Routine dental cleanings can help you get the smile you’ve always wanted. They can help you get back on track from deteriorating oral health, and they leave your mouth in its already amazing condition. Based in Portage, MI, Dr. Keith A Cohrs offers these preventative dental care services at Cohrs Family Dentistry.

We often hear that we have to get our teeth professionally cleaned twice yearly from various sources, but why?

  • Semi-annual cleanings help to make everyday oral care a snap at home.
  • Makes your breath more pleasant
  • Your dentist can answer all your questions at your visit, with information tailored to your unique situation
  • Getting your teeth cleaned decreases the likelihood of tartar and plaque buildup
  • Teeth cleanings ensure that your teeth remain stainless and decay-free.
  • Exams help your dentist help you and your dentist track your oral health.
  • Professional cleanings reach all the nooks and crannies in your mouth that you may not be able to reach. Dentists have specialized tools that help remove tartar and plaque in a way that brushing can not.

Additional Benefits

Regular cleanings, proper oral care, and a diet of crisp, healthy foods that can reach in between the teeth also work to maintain your dental health.

You can also reduce the likelihood of having poor heart health, as heart attacks and stroke correlate with unhealthy gums.

Consistent visits to the dentist also put you at a lower risk for complications with oral cancer. Your dentist will be able to search for and examine lesions, bumps, or anything else that may seem like it could cause a problem.

But most of all, a beautiful smile is the best reason to keep seeing your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings. Contact Dr. Cohrs at his Portage MI practice at (269) 382-3125 to schedule a consultation.

By Cohrs Family Dentistry
October 08, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: gum disease  

Gums are an often-overlooked component of dental health, despite being the literal base of what secures our teeth in place. The prevention of gum disease is key to keeping your teeth strong, healthy and intact. Doctors can detect early signs of gum disease and infections that impact almost everyone who doesn’t practice good oral hygiene. Dentist, Dr. Keith Cohrs, in Portage, MI, can provide care that ensures those types of bacterial infections, like gingivitis, don’t develop into more dangerous ailments such as periodontitis, which can eventually cause gum recession and tooth loss.

More About Gum Disease

Gum disease progresses over four stages. Gingivitis, then slight, moderate and advanced periodontitis. This is why it’s absolutely crucial to visit your Portage, MI dentist for regular checkups and deep teeth cleanings, along with the practice of daily, thorough, oral hygiene.

  1. Gingivitis involves the initial accumulation of plaque and tartar under the gums and around teeth. Be on the watch for bleeding when brushing and flossing your teeth, as well as swelling and redness of the gums.
     
  2. Slight periodontitis is a progression of the infection to the bone, where the more aggressive bacteria eats away at the very structure that supports the teeth, destroying the bones. It is too late to reverse the damage with simple brushing and flossing, as a dentist’s intervention is now needed.
     
  3. Moderate periodontitis is an even more severe form of the disease, in which there is drastic gum recession, and even more bone loss, as the gums detach from the teeth and the bacteria form deposits deep in the gums.
     
  4. Advanced periodontitis is the last stage of gum disease, where bacteria have burrowed deep into bone and gum to form pockets of periodontal abscesses, as teeth continue to loosen and shift.

Caring for your Dental Hygiene

The number one way to combat gum disease is basic oral hygiene and abstaining from harmful habits, such as smoking and consuming excess sugar. Brushing, flossing, and mouthwash all offer different ways of clearing hidden plaque under the gums. However, all these methods are the mere minimum. Your Portage dentist can perform the deep teeth cleanings needed to remove the hardened tartar and calculus, as well as provide instructions on the most effective ways to maintain oral hygiene and help catch gum disease at its onset.

Need to speak to a dentist?

To schedule your next appointment with Portage, MI, dentist, Dr. Keith Cohrs, call (269) 382-3125 or visit portagedentistry.com to learn more about how to avoid and prevent the harmful effects of gum disease.

By Cohrs Family Dentistry
September 29, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: gum disease   oral hygiene  
PreventingGumDiseaseCouldHelpMoreThanYourTeethandGums

The top cause for adult tooth loss isn't decay or trauma—it's periodontal (gum) disease. The disease may begin with the gums, but it can ultimately damage underlying bone enough to weaken its support of teeth, causing them to loosen and fall out.

But that's not the end of the havoc gum disease can wreak. The consequences of an uncontrolled infection can ripple beyond the mouth and worsen other health problems like diabetes, heart disease or arthritis.

The common link between gum disease and these other conditions is the inflammatory response, a natural mechanism to fight infection caused by disease or trauma. This mechanism changes blood vessels to increase blood flow to hasten the travel of protective white blood cells to the injury or disease location.

But if this mechanism that supports healing becomes chronic, it can actually do harm. The chronic inflammation that occurs with gum disease can damage mouth structures, just as inflammation from diabetes or arthritis can damage other parts of the body. And any form of chronic inflammation, even that found in gum disease, can worsen other inflammatory diseases.

You can lessen this link between gum disease and other conditions—as well as improve your oral health—by preventing or seeking prompt treatment for any periodontal infection in the following ways:

  • Practice daily brushing and flossing to clear away bacterial dental plaque, the main cause of gum disease;
  • See your dentist regularly for more thorough dental cleanings and checkups;
  • See your dentist promptly if you notice red, swollen or bleeding gums, common signs of a gum infection;
  • Stop smoking to lower your risk for both gum disease and tooth decay;
  • Adopt a healthy diet, which can help you lose weight (a factor in diabetes and other inflammatory diseases) and strengthen your immune system;
  • Manage other inflammatory conditions to lessen their effect on your gum disease risk.

Taking these steps can help you avoid the inflammation caused by gum disease that might also affect the rest your body. Seeking prompt treatment at the first sign of an infection will also minimize the damage to your teeth and gums and the effect it could have on the rest of your health.

If you would like more information on prevention and treatment of gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Gum Disease & Systemic Health.”

By Cohrs Family Dentistry
September 24, 2020
Category: Oral Health

From the moment your child’s first teeth come in you’re probably thinking about bringing them into the dentist; however, your child’s growing smile has different needs from an adult’s, so you’ll want to find a dentist that can address these specific and unique needs, and this is exactly what our Portage, MI, children’s dentist Dr. Keith Cohrs does.

Our Portage, MI, children’s dentist is able to provide individualized care to children and teens to help them maintain healthy smiles.

Here are some of the dentistry services we offer,

  • Routine preventive care including cleaning, x-rays and exams
  • Emergency dental care
  • Orthodontic treatment
  • Custom sports mouthguards
  • Premature tooth loss treatment for primary teeth
  • Advice for how to properly clean and care for your child’s teeth, including recommending toothpaste, toothbrushes and other home tools that can reduce plaque and tartar buildup
  • Preventive treatments such as fluoride and dental sealants
  • Sedation dentistry (to help nervous patients relax during dental treatment)

A children's dentist also understands just how important it is to create a comfortable dental office with a soothing and welcoming environment. We want to make your child’s dental visits as easy and painless as possible, and that starts with creating an environment that makes them feel comfortable and relaxed.

If you are looking for a children’s dentist that provides gentle, friendly and comprehensive care to children and teens in Portage, MI, then call our office today at (269) 382-3125 to schedule your child’s next checkup.

By Cohrs Family Dentistry
September 09, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health   vaping  
FarFromaSaferAlternativetoSmokingVapingCouldRuinYourOralHealth

E-cigarettes have taken the world by storm, especially among younger adults. The reason: the widespread perception that “vaping” is healthier than smoking tobacco.

But a deeper look at this wildly popular habit reveals a product that doesn't live up to its reputation as smoking's “safer alternative.” One aspect of health that's especially in harm's way is the mouth: Teeth and gums could in fact be just as prone to disease with an e-cigarette as the tobacco variety.

E-cigarettes are handheld devices that hold a cartridge of liquid vaping product, which is then heated to produce an inhalable vapor. Technically, it's an aerosol in which solid chemical compounds within the vaping liquid are suspended in the vapor. The aerosolized vapor thus serves as a transporting medium for these chemicals to enter the user's body.

It's these various chemicals inhaled during vaping that most concern dentists. Top on the list: nicotine, the addictive chemical also found in regular tobacco. Among its other effects, nicotine constricts blood vessels in the mouth, causing less blood flow of nutrients and infection-fighting cells to the gums and teeth. This not only heightens the risk for gum disease, but may also mask initial infection symptoms like swelling or redness.

Flavorings, a popular feature of vaping solutions, may also contribute to oral problems. These substances can form new chemical compounds during the vaping process that can irritate the mouth's inner membranes and trigger inflammation. There's also evidence that e-cigarette flavorings, particularly menthol, might soften enamel and increase the risk of tooth decay.

Other chemicals commonly found in vaping solutions are thought to increase plaque formation, the sticky film on teeth that is a major cause for dental disease. And known carcinogens like formaldehyde, also included in many formulations, raise the specter of oral cancer.

These are just a few of the possible ways vaping may damage oral health. Far from a safe tobacco alternative, there's reason to believe it could be just as harmful. The wise choice for your body and your mouth is not to smoke—or vape.

If you would like more information on the oral hazards of e-cigarettes, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Vaping and Oral Health.”