Periodontist Joins the Mayhill Dental & Specialist Centre read more

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Jim Dufty will be joining us as an associate in March 2017. Jim has a special interest in periodontics and has had many years of experience treating these conditions successfully. Jim has a realistic approach and will do whatever he can to save the natural dentition. This would include hard and soft tissue grafting where appropriate.

He will take referrals for perio and restorative patients and will provide a full range of both non-surgical and surgical treatments. He has published internationally and continues to be involved with dental postgraduate education, working with King’s College London’s Prosthodontic and Aesthetic Dentistry distance learning programs in both teaching and advisory roles.

What is a Periodontist?

A periodontist is a dentist who specialises (or who has a special interest) in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease (gum disease). They are experts in the treatment of inflammation in the tissues and bone surrounding the teeth.

What are the causes of Periodontitis?

The causes of periodontal disease are primarily focused on the body’s response to bacterial insult, but also include family history, poor oral hygiene, bacterial dental plaque, diabetes and smoking. There is growing evidence researching the link between periodontitis and diabetes, heart disease and other systemic disease. It is therefore important to treat periodontitis not just for oral health but potentially for general health too.

Periodontal disease can lead to the loss of attachment of the supporting tissues of the tooth, e.g. the gum, connecting tissues and bone that support the teeth. Common periodontal conditions are gingivitis and periodontitis which are both caused by plaque or what is known as bacterial biofilm. Dental plaque is the sticky film that forms on the teeth and contains bacteria.

What are the symptoms of gum disease?

Severe periodontitis affects 10-15 percent of the population and is inflammation which extends to form a pocket between the tooth and infected gums. It may be symptomless but symptoms include swollen red or bleeding gums, over sensitive teeth or bad breath. Advanced signs may include abscesses, loose teeth and eventually tooth loss. It can also lead to receding gums which exposes more of the root, which can heighten sensitivity. 

When should you see a periodontist?

If your dentist has diagnosed periodontal disease or there is a problem with your gums then a referral to a periodontist would be advisable. If left untreated it can destroy the bone and tissue that surround the teeth. Your dentist may also refer you to try to replace lost gum tissue and for crown lengthening to improve appearance. 

If you would like any further advice please call the Mayhill Dental Centre on 01600 712020 or email

7 Things Smoking is Doing to Your Mouth read more

We are all aware that smoking is bad for our health, causing a vast variety of medical conditions. The estimation is that 96,000 people die from smoking related diseases and half of all regular smokers will eventually be killed by their addiction. Many of us do not realise the damage that smoking causes to our mouths:

1) Gum Disease and Tooth Loss
Smoking severely affects the tissue in the gums which makes them vulnerable to infection. This can lead to bone loss in the jaw which holds the teeth in place. Bone loss can eventually lead to tooth loss.

2) Bacterial Growth
Smoking results in increased build up of bacteria or plaque which can lead to decay and cavities. Plaque can also affect tissues supporting the roots of the teeth and weaken the bone.

3) Mouth Cancer
There are thousands of chemicals in every cigarette which can cause cancer in the mouth. Smoking transforms saliva into a deadly cocktail that damages cells in the mouth and can turn them cancerous. Smoking causes roughly 2 in every 3 mouth cancers.

4) Yellow Teeth
The tar and nicotine in tobacco can make your teeth yellow in a short space of time. Heavy smokers complain their teeth are almost brown!

5) Smokers Breath
“Smokers Breath” is one of the first problems you develop when smoking. Cigarettes leave smoke particles lingering in the mouth, throat and lungs.

6) Spotty Mouth
Smoking can cause white or grey patches on the tongue, cheek or floor of the mouth known as leukoplakia. This happens due to the irritation of the soft tissues inside the mouth due to smoking. If you are a smoker you should cut down on sugary food and drink, brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and visit the dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.

If you notice any changes inside your mouth speak to your dentist straight away. They will be able to provide you with smoking cessation advice. For further advice please feel free to call us on 01600 712020 or email

New Year New Smile! read more

A surprising 42% of British people wish they could change the appearance of their teeth. A quarter of people feel so conscious of their smile, they avoid smiling altogether! Don’t let your smile affect your confidence, find out what your options could be, you will be amazed at the advances in dentistry. The treatments now offered to patients are far more sophisticated and in many cases non-invasive. We can straighten teeth discreetly and quickly and make cosmetic improvements through composites, veneers or crowns.

Teeth straightening is becoming very popular with adults, irrespective of age. The barrier preventing patients from getting braces is usually the visibility of a brace. Traditional braces can bring back bad memories for those who wore them in their teenage years; the dreaded train tracks! However, there have been huge strides in developing modern, discreet and invisible braces which can take half the conventional treatment time. These advanced methods now mean that you no longer have to grin and bear it.

There are a number of new techniques which are becoming popular. Ceramic braces are clear brackets which attach to the teeth. Tooth coloured wires are also used to make the braces more discreet. Although this brace is not invisible it is far more discreet than traditional metal braces. The length of treatment is also much quicker than conventional braces.

Incognito braces (lingual) are fitted to the back of the teeth and are therefore invisible. The slight disadvantage is that it can cause a temporary lisp and treatment can often take a little longer.

Invisalign could be the solution if you don’t like the idea of fixed braces. This innovative technology allows you to have custom made aligners (similar to very thin mouth guards) that are replaced every couple of weeks as the teeth gradually move into the correct position. They are made out of clear plastic and are barely noticeable. You do however need to wear them at all times apart from eating. Treatment times can vary between 9-15 months depending on the level of crowding which is a little longer than conventional treatment.
Our website has great examples of cases we have treated.

If you would like any further advice or information, including flexible payment plans please feel free to call the Mayhill Dental Centre on 01600 712020, our website or email

A Dental Visit Could Save your Life! read more

The UK’s leading oral health charity, the Oral Health Foundation (OHF) has launched its mouthawareness month, which is an annual campaign to raise awareness of signs, symptoms and causes of mouth cancer. This is to ensure that we know what to do if we notice any changes inside our mouth. Mouth cancer can affect the lips, tongue, cheeks and throat.

Evidence based research by the OHF shows that fewer than 40% of us are able to identify the major symptoms related to mouth cancer, which includes red and white patches in the mouth, non- healing ulcers or unusual lumps and swellings.

Unfortunately the survival rates have not improved in the last 20 years. It is therefore important that we are able to recognize and act on the early warning signs to improve diagnosis and help save lives. Early diagnosis transforms a person’s chances of beating the disease from 50% to 90%. If you notice any of the warning signs of mouth cancer then visit your dentist straight away.

A great concern for the charity is the revelation that one in five people questioned said they would not seek help from a dentist if they had a mouth ulcer lasting longer than 3 weeks. The OHF also found that awareness regarding what puts us at risk of mouth cancer is frightening low. Around one in five did not associate smoking with mouth cancer whilst just under half (45%) did not think drinking alcohol to excess was linked to the disease.

More than four in five (81%) did not know that HPV was a cause of mouth cancer. HPV (the human papillomavirus) is a sexually transmitted disease and is a major cause of cervical cancer. It affects the skin that lives in the moist areas of the body. HPV can spread through oral sex. Practicing safe sex and limiting the number of partners can help reduce your chances of contacting HPV. This may also be linked to the sharp increase in the number of mouth cancers.

Protect yourself against cancer by:

  • Having a good diet rich in vitamin A, C, and E . Plenty of fruit and vegetables will help the body protect itself.
  • Cutting down on smoking and drinking.
  • Sun protection on your lips.
  • Regular visits to the dentist.
  • diabetes can make it hard to control infections
  • Looking out for changes in the mouth whilst brushing.

To find out more information about the signs, symptoms and causes of mouth cancer and how you can get involved in Mouth Cancer Action Month 2016 at If you would like advice from a dentist please feel free to call the Mayhill Dental & Specialist Centre on 01600 712020 or

Monmouth Dental Practice wins National Award read more

The inaugural Welsh Dentistry awards were held on Friday evening at The Millennium Stadium hosted by Tom Shanklin ex Wales and British Lion. The evening proved to a be a massive success for The Mayhill Dental and Specialist Centre who scooped two prestigious awards being voted the Best Specialist and Private Practice.

Helen Guppy who masterminded their entry said ” just to be nominated was an honour but to win in the face of stiff competition was a huge thrill and reward for our team who have worked so hard over the last three years”

The practice was recognised for not only the high standard of general and specialist dentistry but also for their commitment to the patient experience.

Monmouth Dental  Practice wins National Award

Computer Says Yes! read more

Most dental practices in the UK regard themselves as computerised. Patients are familiar with receptionists making appointments, taking details and contacting then via email. They often see their dentist charting their findings on a surgery computer .However, the age of computerisation has changed practically all other elements of dentistry.
Computers help in other ways as well:

Conventional radiographs that have 2D can be misleading and are often insufficient to make an accurate and clear diagnosis. We are now able to take 3D radiographs which enable us to see inside the tooth or bone, thus allowing for more diagnostic accuracy.

Intra-Oral cameras
This has been around for a while but now enhanced with digital technology we can show patients exactly what the issues are within their dentition. Examples of this maybe an area they are missing with their toothbrush or a small lesion on a tooth, which is in danger of developing a cavity.

Computer aided injection techniques
Although there has been a lot of progression within dentistry, one aspect still remains to unsettle patients and that is the prospect of painful injections. Computer aided injection techniques (the wand) are virtually painless and do not require the usual large hypodermic needle. The local anaesthetic solution is delivered extremely slowly reducing the pain and numbness does not profoundly affect the entire face.

Digital impressions
It is now possible to scan teeth rather than take impressions of them. This can be very helpful for patients who have a gag reflex. The scanned impression can be sent to the laboratory for a crown, or even milled within the dental practice. High end crowns and exacting aesthetic situations will still require normal impressions but as the technology improves we are sure that this will become a thing of the past.

Computer aided treatment
There are some situations where very precise drilling procedures are required. This is often the case with dental implants. The 3D scan allow us to avoid extensive bone grafting, and can even result in a key hole form of treatment. This technology can be used to provide same day prosthesis. Imagine walking into a dental practice without any teeth and walking out with a full arch of beautiful functioning teeth supported by implants.

Cosmetic dentistry
We can use computers to analyse a patients existing smile. This helps identify any irregularities and will allow us to outline to our technicians what a patient wants to enhance or change. Patients can see the “before” and “after” prior to treatment. Orthodontic treatment can now be rehearsed using digital radiographs and models. By being more accurate with the placement of the braces on the teeth, tooth movement is quicker and more precise. This can shorten treatment times.

There is virtually no area of dentistry that is not affected by computers, and imaging software.
Article by David Guppy at the Mayhill Dental & Specialist Centre in Monmouth 01600 712020

Sugar Free Gum

Pearly Whites in Time for Summer read more

Everyone wants whiter teeth, but what are the best ways of achieving this?
Looking through the internet can be very confusing, is it max white, pearly white, what strength, is it safe to use and the list goes on!!

Tooth Whitening can be an effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surface. The most common cause of dark or yellow teeth is smoking, red wine and tannic acid in tea and coffee. Teeth also darken naturally as we age. Surface staining can be removed by a hygienist but this is usually transient and in time the staining returns. The same is true of whitening tooth pastes which can be very expensive but have a negligible effect on the colour of teeth.

A recent European Directive made it law that only qualified dental professionals can legally whiten your teeth. There is no insurance for people offering whitening illegally. Peroxide products over 6% are banned in the EU as they can cause chemical burns and sensitivity. The EU has approved products that are safe and effective to whiten teeth without removing the surface of the tooth.

Tooth whitening or bleaching as prescribed by a dentist can remove the intrinsic nature of the discolouration and dramatically whiten your smile. The process is well tested and safe when provided by a dental professional.

There are a number of tooth whitening systems which include home whitening, same day tooth whitening or a combination of in-surgery and home. All methods have the potential to improve the colour of your smile. They also require top ups to maintain the colour. At least once every six months to keep your teeth shiny white. Treatment times can vary depending on the system. Home whitening systems use custom made trays that you fill with gel and wear from 30 minutes a day or overnight. Treatment time is usually 2 weeks. Power whitening or laser such as the Phillips Zoom provide same day whitening. The light speeds up the reaction of the whitening product and takes an hour. This achieves the same result as wearing 14 days of trays. Other systems such as Enlighten can take up to 2 weeks.
Many people say that they feel years younger after the treatment, having erased the effects of ageing, coffee and red wine. We are offering a free tooth whitening consultation so if you want to brighten your smile predictably with amazing results contact The Mayhill Dental and Specialist Centre Tel 01600 712020 or email

Sugar Free Gum as Part of Oral Health read more

As our lifestyles have become busier, looking after our oral health has become more difficult. Grabbing that cheeky caramel latte, snacking through the day due to a missed lunch can all have a negative impact on our teeth.

The general health risks of consuming high levels of sugar are now recognised by government who have now introduced taxation on sugary drinks. Sugar is often hidden in foods or snacks that we consider to be healthy so perhaps this will be the next target for the chancellor.

Every time we drink or eat, our teeth are at risk of acid attack, especially if there is sugar in it. The acid is produced by plaque bacteria, which slowly demineralise the enamel and dentine of the teeth leading to cavities. Recent studies have shown that the process of chewing sugar free gum can help our oral health. This is not a replacement to brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.

The process of chewing sugar free gum helps the mouth produce saliva, which is a natural defence against acid. Chewing sugar free gum for 20 minutes after eating increases the flow of saliva which helps to neutralize the acids and protect against tooth decay.

The cost of dental health to the NHS is a staggering £3.4 billion every year. Much of this cost is treating problems which are entirely preventable. A study in 2013 showed that more than a third of 12 year olds in the UK had obvious decay in the permanent teeth. Poor oral health as a child can lead to poor oral health in an adult.

A recent publication in the British Dental Journal suggests that if all 12 year olds across the UK chewed sugar free gum after eating or drinking the NHS could save around £8.2 million a year on dental treatments. Most importantly it could also save children from the risks associated with extractions under general anaesthesia.

Conventional public health messages are difficult to get through to the people who really stand to benefit from them the most. So maybe promotion of sugar free gum may just hit the target.

For more information or advice please call The Mayhill Dental & Specialist Centre on 01600 712020 or email

Sugar Free Gum

Eight Tips Before you Try Invisalign (Orthodontic Treatment) read more

1) Its Painless compared to conventional braces, Invisalign does not hurt. You might not be able to chew hard foods on the first day but nothing compared to metal braces. Invisalign involves wearing clear, plastic trays that are custom designed to fit your mouth which are more discreet in comparison to metal braces.

2) A travel toothbrush will become your new best friend. You will need to clean your aligners and teeth after every meal. Drink lots of water as the trays can dry the mouth which can encourage bacteria and bad breath. Don’t drink anything dark with them in as this will stain the trays. Also try and avoid fizzy drinks and sugary sweets.

3) You may lose weight as snacking will become a thing of the past! Because you have to brush after each meal, snacking will become a bit of an effort. Your clothes will start to feel more comfortable and there will be no more sugar rushes.

4) Patience is needed as it can take longer than you think. The average treatment of Invisalign is a year. However, as it relies on patient compliance it can take longer. Aligners are changed frequently and can be uncomfortable for the first few hours until your teeth get used to them.

5) The Aligners need to be worn for at least 20 hours a day otherwise the results won’t be good and can take longer. Try and wear your aligners continuously. The less you wear them the less affect they will have on your teeth. The more you wear them the more comfortable they become. You must be fully committed.

6) Don’t use toothpaste to clean your aligners. Toothpaste can contain abrasive ingredients that can cause a build-up and odour. It is best to use a mild detergent.

7) It might not be the right treatment for all orthodontic cases. Invisalign works best on less severe cases of crowding. Complex orthodontic cases may get quicker results with metal braces.

8) A Lisp might be possible in the first couple of days. Speech might be slightly impaired with certain syllables. This is only temporary until you get used to the aligners and will not have a long term effect on your speech.

10 Things You Should Know Before Having Tooth Whitening read more

1) Always consult a dentist before making any teeth whitening decisions.

2) Tooth whitening provided outside a dental setting is not insured or regulated. Any peroxide products over 6% are banned in the EU as they can cause sensitivity and chemical burns to the gums and soft tissue. Applied professionally the process is safe and comfortable.

3) Tooth Whitening kits bought online are risky as they can contain illegal chemicals and some can strip away enamel which can leave your teeth permanently damaged.

4) Brushing teeth twice a day , avoid snacking and seeing a hygienist every 3 months can keep your teeth white. Whitening tooth pastes are not always effective and can be abrasive.

5) If you drink a lot of coffee and red wine, there are toothpastes that boast enzymes that keep stains from sticking to your teeth. Advice is needed on an individual basis to identify the best toothpaste to use.

6) There are a number of tooth whitening systems which include home whitening, same day tooth whitening or a combination of in-surgery and home. All methods have the potential to improve the colour of your smile. They also require top ups to maintain the colour. At least once every six months to keep your teeth shiny white.

7) Treatment times can vary depending on the system. Home whitening systems use custom made trays that you fill with gel and wear from 30 minutes a day or overnight. Treatment time is usually 2 weeks. Power whitening or laser such as the Phillips Zoom provide same day whitening. The light speeds up the reaction of the whitening product and takes an hour. This achieves the same result as wearing 14 days of trays. Other systems such as Enlighten can take up to 2 weeks.

8) Some people might experience some tooth sensitivity to cold during or after treatment. Others may have discomfort in the gums. These symptoms are usually temporary and should disappear within days of the treatment finishing.

9) Tooth Whitening does not work on false teeth such as crowns, dentures or veneers. Tooth whitening only works on natural teeth. The active ingredient in the product is usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. As the active ingredient is broken down, oxygen gets into the enamel on the teeth and the tooth colour is made lighter.

10) Tooth Whitening is one of the least invasive forms of cosmetic dental treatment.

For more information or advice please call The Mayhill Dental Centre on 01600 712020 or email