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 to learn more about how to avoid and prevent the harmful effects of gum disease.