Peter Galgut gobbles up a top dental award for his work on gums

Gum specialist Peter Galgut has a good reason to smile.

The periodontist has been appointed vice president of the British Dental Hygienists and Therapists Association in recognition of his contribution to preventive dental care.

Dr Galgut, 63, has spent more than 30 years specialising in periodontal conditions and promoting preventative care.

He runs his own practice in Golders Green, north London. He says: "People don't take dental hygiene terribly seriously because often, there isn't anything too dramatic that appears on a regular basis. But periodontal diseases can have a profound effect on other areas of the body. The bacteria that causes periodontal disease are very malicious organisms."

He adds: "People may have nice-looking gums but there can be an infection burrowing away underneath." Born in South Africa, Dr Galgut moved to the UK in 1973. He gained the Membership in Restorative Dentistry (MRD) and also the MFGDP of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. He was awarded an MPhil in acknowledgement of his research into biomaterials and wound healing.

The senior vice president of Alyth Synagogue, he is the author of several books on subjects including periodontics, Judaism at home and humming your way to happiness.

    Last updated: 12:46pm, March 18 2010