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BRUSSELS, Belgium/BIRMINGHAM, UK: Treat your gums” is the slogan for Gum Health Day 2022, a worldwide awareness campaign organised by the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP). It is aimed at informing the public about the detrimental effects of periodontal disease on both oral and overall health and calls for its prevention, early detection and effective treatment, focusing on the EFP’s recent clinical practice guidelines on periodontitis treatment. The hashtag is #TreatYourGums.
Although still poorly recognised by the public, periodontal diseases are chronic inflammatory conditions that affect many adults worldwide. Besides its oral health effects, periodontal disease is linked to major systemic health issues, including diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, chronic kidney disease, adverse pregnancy outcomes, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, erectile dysfunction, certain forms of cancer and more severe COVID-19 outcomes. That is why periodontal disease and its prevention and treatment are of major significance not only for oral health but also for the whole body.
“This year’s campaign focuses heavily on the treatment part—we know that millions of people suffer from gum diseases that can be treated effectively,” explained Dr Moritz Kebschull, professor of restorative dentistry in the School of Dentistry at the University of Birmingham in the UK and the coordinator of Gum Health Day 2022. “ ‘Treat your gums’ calls for this treatment—with all the documented positive effects for the mouth and whole body—to actually happen,” he continued.
“The new EFP-produced clinical practice guidelines on the treatment of all four stages of periodontitis are a crucial development, as they are the first high-quality international guidelines to outline a structured and easily implemented pathway for the efficient and effective treatment of gum disease,” Prof. Kebschull noted.
He then added: “It is important to underline that gum disease is one of the most widespread chronic diseases in the worldwide adult population and that it is usually painless, so its early detection and successful treatment depend heavily on how fast the patient takes action.”
A major innovation of Gum Health Day 2022 is an EFP-designed customised content generator which allows the federation’s 37 affiliated national societies of periodontics, their individual members, and practices, hospitals and members of the public to customise their own Gum Health Day 2022 materials based on a series of graphic templates and catchphrases.
As part of Gum Health Day 2022, the EFP is encouraging periodontists, general dentists, researchers and other health-related professionals to sign and disseminate the EFP Manifesto: Perio and General Health, an international call to action for the prevention, early detection and treatment of periodontal disease. According to the EFP, over 1,200 healthcare professionals, dental practices, companies and universities have already expressed their support for the initiative.