EFP president Anton Sculean and European Gum Health Day 2018 co-ordinator Xavier Struillou launched this year’s edition of the federation’s periodontal-health awareness day at a press conference in Bern, Switzerland, on Tuesday, May 8.
Using the slogan “Health begins with healthy gums”, European Gum Health Day 2018 takes place on Saturday, May 12 with an unprecedented level of support, featuring the participation of 39 national societies of periodontology (29 members of the EFP plus 10 from Latin America).
“Gum disease’s prevalence and gravity increase with age and as a result of contributing factors such as smoking and obesity – but it can be prevented and successfully treated, especially if diagnosed early,” said Prof Sculean, unveiling plans for the awareness day at a press conference in his home city of Bern, attended by journalists from the Swiss and German dental media.
“That is why, as our motto says, ‘Health begins with healthy gums’, and we have an opportunity to take action.”
For Dr Struillou, the purpose of European Gum Health Day 2018 is to remind people that gum health is “a key factor for general health throughout life, and that gum disease is a major public-health concern as it is linked to serious conditions, including heart disease and cerebrovascular disease.”
He added that gum health can “help us to save many lives, to detect or prevent many severe conditions, and to save billions in medical costs.”
Events planned by national periodontology societies for May 12 include free periodontal check-ups, distribution of leaflets in public squares, special courses at universities, and much activity in the media including television and radio interviews.
Within the context of the awareness day, the EFP is encouraging dentists and other health professionals to sign and distribute the EFP Manifesto: Perio and General Health, an international call to action for the prevention, early detection, and treatment of gum disease.
In addition, European Gum Health Day 2018 is also being used to disseminate the “Perio Focus” paper Impact of the global burden of periodontal diseases on health, nutrition and well-being of mankind: a call for global action, written by experts Søren Jepsen, Maurizio Tonetti, Lijan Jin, and Joan Otomo-Corgel. This important document has been endorsed by the EFP and more than 50 international and national societies of periodontology.