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Your gums are the foundation to your smile. The healthier your gums, the healthier your overall oral health. Periodontics is the field of dentistry concerned with maintaining the health of your gums and supporting structures, including treating and preventing gum disease.


Gum disease is the leading cause for tooth loss in the UK so preventing and treating the condition is essential for your smile. Regular interdental cleaning on top of your routine brushing does much of the hard work, keeping your mouth bacteria-free. However, it’s the trips to the hygienist chair that keeps on top of the condition as your hygienist can assess the condition and keep an eye on your gum health.

At Smilepod, we have a gold standard of hygiene treatments as we know just how important gum health is. We have many different hygiene packages offering different levels of cleaning.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease (periodontitis) is one of the main causes of tooth loss. It’s a common condition in which the gums and other structures around the teeth become inflamed. It’s caused by the actions of certain bacteria and the local inflammation that these bacteria trigger.

Although these bacteria are found naturally in the mouth, they only start to cause harm when the conditions are right for them to increase in numbers. This happens when dental plaque (food and bacteria debris) builds up on teeth and is left undisturbed to irritate the gums. The longer plaque and tartar are on teeth, the more harmful they become.

As the bacteria become more dangerous, they are able to multiply and produce some harmful by-products. These by-products trigger the body’s defence system and more permanent damage is caused. The gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces called “pockets” in which more plaque collects. As the pockets deepen, the supporting bone and tissues around the teeth may gradually be lost and the teeth may become loose and need to be removed.

How do I know if I have it?

Periodontitis always begins with inflammation of the gums known as gingivitis. This is when the gums become red, swollen and bleed easily but this can usually be reversed with regular brushing, flossing and professional hygienist teeth cleaning. It’s not always easy to recognise and many people aren’t even aware they have an issue as it’s usually not painful and can progress quietly in the background.

If gingivitis is left untreated it may progress to periodontitis. Some changes you may notice which may alert you are worsening bleeding of the gums, gum recession, bad breath, changes in the position of teeth and teeth feeling loose.

If you are experiencing any of these then see a dentist immediately.

Did you know that gum disease has been linked to other health conditions?

Studies are increasingly coming out that link poor gum health to conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Diabetic patients are more likely to develop periodontitis, which can in turn increase the blood sugar and cause diabetic complications. Those people who don’t have very good diabetic control are likely to have more severe gum disease.

Although the exact link between gum disease and other health conditions is not yet fully understood we know that inflammation is a factor so improving the health of the gums by treating gum disease early is very important.

What do I do if I think I have it?

If you have any concerns about your gums, please contact us and speak to a member of staff and they will arrange an appointment for you. We know this can be a daunting thing and you may feel embarrassed but we are understanding and discrete and can help you. Dr Anju is available at 3 of our Central London locations- Bank, Canary Wharf (Jubilee Place) & Holborn, and offers early morning and evening appointments at our locations so we can fit you in around your work.

We welcome anxious patients and strive to provide a relaxing environment during treatment.

What will happen at my initial consultation appointment?

At your first appointment, Dr Anju will talk to you to understand the problems you are experiencing with your gums and what you would like to achieve with treatment.

She will then carry out a thorough examination of your gums, including taking any necessary x-rays.

Once she has gathered all of this information, she will discuss what is happening and the appropriate treatment options and costs. You will be provided with a written treatment plan at the appointment with a full breakdown of costs, and this will be followed by a detailed clinical report that will be sent to you and to your dentist if needed.

It’s not quick gathering all this detailed information on your gums, so expect the consultation to last approximately 45-60 minutes!

Direct patient referrals

If you do not have a general dentist, we are happy for you to contact Smilepod directly and book an appointment to see Dr Anju. We would, however, recommend that you do get a general dentist to look after your dental needs and can help recommend a suitable dentist at one of our studios based upon your location.

How do we treat periodontal disease?

At Smilepod your dental health is our number one priority.

Dr Anju is dedicated to providing the very best treatment to those suffering from gum disease. With careful assessment and treatment, it is usually possible to completely halt the progress of periodontitis. Many of Dr Anju’s patients have gone on to have orthodontics, cosmetic dental work and dental implants following successful treatment of their gum disease.

Dr Anju aims to manage gum disease in the least invasive way, thus avoiding the need for any complicated procedures. Initially, treatment is aimed at eliminating the harmful bacteria that are triggering the inflammation and establishing a very good standard of oral hygiene measures at home. This is usually done by deep cleaning (root surface debridement), in which plaque and tartar is removed from the root surfaces and any pockets are carefully cleaned. This is a simple procedure usually done with local anaesthetic. After treatment your gums will need to be evaluated. If you’ve had any similar cleaning done with a hygienist before please note that this treatment is different.

Once we have stabilised your gum disease and restored your gums back to health, it is important that you have regular basic cleaning with the hygienist to keep your gums in prime condition. These cleanings known as maintenance cleanings, are usually recommended every 3-4 months for patients with a history of gum disease. This is more frequently than the 6 month interval often recommended for patients with healthy gums.

What else can Dr Anju help with?

In addition to improving the health of your gums, Dr Anju can help with any complications around dental implants and also provides solutions to manage recession of the gums. This includes conventional gum grafting and Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation. She is one of the few dentists in the UK to be performing this technique following training in the USA. This is a non-surgical alternative to gum grafting that can cover large areas of recession in a single session without the need for any surgery.

Meet our periodontist

Dr Anju Kumar
GDC: 83479
BDS, MClinDent (Perio), MPerio RCS Edin

Dr Anju qualified from the University of Birmingham in 2004, and followed this with a year working at Guy’s Kings and St Thomas’ Dental Institute. She then spent several years in general practice whilst also working as a clinical teacher in dental radiography and radiology at Guy’s Hospital.

In 2009, she embarked on a specialist training program in Periodontology at King’s College London based at Guy’s Hospital. She is a member of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, European Federation of Periodontology and the British Society of Periodontology.

Anju has a wealth of experience treating complex cases and has a particular interest in the management of the most severe gum problems and overgrowth in people. She also has experience in managing failing implants. If your gums are receding, bleeding, swollen or uncomfortable or you’ve been told you have gum disease then Dr Anju can help.

In addition to managing gum disease around teeth and dental implants, Anju also offers solutions to address gum recession. She is one of the few dentists in the UK to be performing Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation following training in the USA. This is a non-surgical alternative to gum grafting that can cover large areas of recession without the need for any surgery.

She has a passion for what she does and uses the latest research and advances to lead with a minimally invasive approach thus reducing the need for complex surgery.

In her spare time Anju loves travelling and exploring new places and cultures. She enjoys reading about the history of art and is currently working her way through a list of art works to visit!

Latest Reviews
Sorcha Gavin

As a first time customer , I have to say that I was so happy with the service I received today. Really put at ease by the friendly staff and dentist. Even though it was a quick procedure, it was very thorough. Will definitely be back! Thanks Smilepod.

Mike Halland

Just perfect. Very professional and excellent reception team. The dentist Dr Italo is a master magician! I’ve been many times and all Smilepod dentists and support team are exceptional.

Philip Smith

I was pleased to be able to choose the time for my appointment quickly and when it was convenient to fit to my work schedule. Ana was very knowledgeble and professional, and explained everything clearly to me. After my appointment I felt it was well worth the payment.


Friendly and efficient service, good online booking system. Classic clean thorough and quick. Positive and pleasant practitioner - no nagging or negging to push additional treatments a definite plus.

Julia Engstrom

I would definitely recommend Smilepod Holborn. I was received in a very friendly manner, the treatment was swift but thorough. The result was also beyond my expectations. All in all, an excellent experience.


Excellent service, very efficient and effective. The dentist was friendly and approachable, answered my questions and made recommendations for my daily dental hygiene. Really like it and would definitely recommend it.

Amika Shah

Dr Ana Polidoro is the best! I have visited smilepod holborn twice and both times for an extraction and both times she made me feel very comfortable and she is extremely friendly, quick and professional, making going to the dentist joyful rather than stressful!!