Detecting gum disease early to avoid tooth loss

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is one of the most wide-spread diseases across the world and is generally considered to be the leading cause of tooth loss.  It is usually pain-free and can be easily missed particularly in the early stages, meaning that many people will have gum disease without even being aware of it.


At one80 Dental, Dr Fergus Machin leads our Periodontal service. Our experienced Periodontal Team provides advanced treatments and prevention of diseases and disorders (infection and inflammation) of the gums and other structures around the teeth.

With the right care gum disease is preventable, so it is important that you make regular visits to our dental team and maintain a good oral hygiene routine.  Our experienced team will work with you to eradicate any active (untreated) disease and help you to prevent any further deterioration in your gum condition.


This image gives an indication of how the bone that supports your teeth in health is lost during the disease process known as periodontal disease.

  • Healthy gums should be pink, firm and should not be tender when you brush or touch them.  If you are experiencing any symptoms or changes in your teeth or gums that are causing you concern, then make an appointment with our team.
  • Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can be reversed by removing plaque build-up and maintaining effective oral health at home. Gingivitis treatment is essential to ensuring your bacterial infection does not develop into periodontitis.
  • Periodontitis is a serious gum infection that damages the soft tissue and destroys the bone that supports your teeth it can cause teeth to loosen or lead to tooth loss. 


Periodontal disease is no longer considered to be ‘just’ a dental problem. There is increasing evidence to suggest strong links between periodontal infection and serious health and inflammatory conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease. Emerging evidence has associated periodontal diseases and chronic obstructive airways disease, chronic kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, cognitive impairment, obesity, metabolic syndrome, some cancers and pre-term low birth weight babies.

Fergus Machin
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Periodontics is the area of dentistry that is concerned with the structures surrounding and supporting the teeth such as your gums, the tooth socket and the bone beneath.  The identification, prevention and management of infections and inflammations of these structures is a key feature of this particular branch of dentistry.

Gum disease is caused by bacteria and foodstuffs that collect at the gum line as dental plaque (often soft, sticky and whitish or yellow).  If plaque is not properly and regularly cleaned, the gum starts to come away from the tooth, forming pockets and the plaque grows down below the gum line. Over time, and if advice is not sought from a dental professional, the bone supporting the teeth can be destroyed, the gums shrink and eventually the teeth become wobbly and fall out.

There are many different classes of periodontal disease. Depending on the extent of the infection, symptoms can vary. This being said, the most common symptoms can include:

  • Bleeding gums when brushing or even whilst eating 
  • Red, swollen gums 
  • Bad breath 
  • Spaces appearing between teeth
  • Loose teeth or teeth moving position in the mouth 
  • Receding gums 
  • Sensitivity to cold or hot foods and drinks


Do not overlook bleeding, sore or inflamed gums, or any abnormalities in your teeth. The quicker you can learn that you may be suffering from an infection of some kind, the faster it can be treated and the less likely it is to become serious.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, make an appointment with a member of our dental team for a check-up.  It is important to remember that gum disease is preventable and if caught early enough, is easily treatable.

Most people can suffer with mild levels of gum disease, but some people are more susceptible to aggressive forms. Severe gum disease, especially if you have it at a young age, can run in families. 

There are a few factors that put people at higher risk of getting severe gum disease. These include: 

  • Diabetes (especially if poorly controlled) 
  • Smoking (possibly including e-cigarettes) 
  • Stress 
  • Poor diet which is lacking in vitamins and minerals 
  • Obesity 
  • Certain medications.

When you make an appointment to see a member of our team, please do talk to them about any concerns you have.  It is important that you also share with the dentist or hygienist any problems with your health and about any tablets or medicines you are taking. Some medical conditions may change the way our team manages your disease and some medication may change the appearance of your gums.

Following these measures will help to ensure good oral hygiene and prevent possible periodontitis and other forms of infections: 

  • Attend regular dental examinations and hygienist visits as recommended by your dentist.
  • Brush the gum line and each tooth twice daily (before bed and on one other occasion). Brush for at least 2 minutes. Our hygiene services team can advise you on the most appropriate toothbrush for you and can support you by demonstrating the correct brushing techniques for you.
  • Clean daily between the teeth before brushing, using floss in tight spaces and interdental brushes for larger spaces
  • Use a fluoridated toothpaste with at least 1350ppm Fluoride, spit out after brushing and do not rinse to maintain fluoride concentration
  • Do not smoke
  • Reduce the frequency and amount of sugary foods and drinks.  Focus on a balanced diet to make sure your teeth and gums are getting the nutrients that they need to remain healthy.

Some people are more susceptible to aggressive forms. Severe gum disease, especially if you have it at a young age, can run in families. This does not mean it is inevitable, but it is likely that any extra care you take in your oral care routine will make a big difference going forwards. Knowing whether or not gum disease runs in your family will give you more control over your oral health.  If gum disease does run in your family, do let our team know and they will plan your maintenance and treatment accordingly, as well as provide you with additional guidance on how to keep your mouth and teeth healthy.

We provide individual treatment plans based on your individual needs.  The cost of treatment will therefore be outlined to you after your initial consultation and assessment and depending on any level of complexity (if applicable), the costs may vary.  As a guide please visit our fees page.


Throughout your treatment we will be clear with you about costs, what to expect and when to make payment(s).  t help spread the costs we offer individual payment plans or 0% finance. Make an appointment with our Treatment Coordinator who will be happy to answer any questions you may have about finances.

Modern periodontal surgical procedures are not as invasive as they may sound.  Of course, every patient is different, but we would expect very little discomfort during and after your procedures.  All surgical procedures are carried out using local anaesthetic to help keep you as comfortable as possible throughout your appointment.  However, if you are concerned about any aspect of surgery, we also offer Sedation which is overseen by one of our in-house Consultant Anaesthetists.


Contact us to find out more about any of our periodontal or sedation services.

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