You may have been referred to Vermilion by your dentist because you present signs of gum disease such as bleeding gums, or as part of your ongoing dental implant treatment.

There are very few periodontists working in practice in Scotland, and at Vermilion we are lucky to have two excellent clinicians, Dr Louise O’Dowd and Dr Jackie Davidson. They work very closely with our highly skilled hygienists Michaela Zilinska, Debbie McKenzie and Jen White to not just help patients to get well, but to stay well.

Gum Disease

Root Planing

Periodontics FAQs

A periodontist is a dentist who has devoted their career to the management and treatment of periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontists tend to see patients when they are experiencing tooth mobility and or tooth loss.

The role of a periodontist is more akin to a physician, taking a holistic view of a patient’s health as, by improving a patient’s periodontal condition, it will have a positive impact on chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

Periodontitis usually begins as gingivitis, which is the inflammation of the gums and other areas of the mouth that support the teeth. It is caused by bacteria on your teeth at gum level and can result in infection and substances that damage your jaw bone and the ligament surrounding your teeth. If not treated, this may result in loose teeth or loss of teeth.

The disease is not normally painful and is more common in older adults, in particular those that smoke or who have diabetes.

Treatment for periodontitis is normally carried out by a dental hygienist or by a periodontist. During your course of treatment, our periodontal team will thoroughly clean the pockets around your teeth with the aim to prevent any damage to your teeth that is caused by bacteria build up in the teeth pockets. They will also work with you to show you the necessary steps that must be taken to maintain excellent oral hygiene.

Periodontitis tends to be a condition that affects older patients; however, it can present in your 20s and 30s. There is usually a family history of gum disease and the condition is exacerbated by smoking.

Healthy gums should feel firm rather than swollen and be tightly attached to your teeth. Gum colour can vary between individuals, in the same way that skin tone varies, but healthy gums are often pale pink in colour. They shouldn’t bleed when brushing or cleaning in between the teeth.

In many cases patients will be unaware that they have gum disease, as gingivitis and periodontitis can be pain-free. Some of the symptoms may include:

  • Swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Loose or mobile teeth
  • Drifting teeth
  • Tartar build-up
  • Painful swelling around individual teeth


  • Periodontal consultation: £200
  • Indicative periodontal surgical costs: from £800 per site
  • Initial course of non-surgical periodontal treatment: £2,000 (Guide price for five visits)
  • Dental hygiene: from £135

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