Plans are now well under way for European Gum Health Day 2017, the EFP’s annual periodontal awareness day, which will take place on May 12 under the slogan “Fighting periodontal disease together.”
A total of 21 national perio societies affiliated to the EFP have confirmed their participation in this year’s event and more are expected to announce their involvement in the coming weeks.
Activities planned include free periodontal screenings, events in shopping malls and other public spaces, television interviews, and other media activities. In addition, social media will be used to spread the message using the hashtag “#perioday”.
European Gum Health Day is an EFP initiative, promoted by the federation and organised by its affiliated national societies. Last year, 21 national societies took part in what was then called the “European Day of Periodontology”, with a wide range of awareness-raising activities.
Four societies which did not take part in 2016 – the Hungarian, Irish, Moroccan, and Swedish – are drawing up plans for this year.
The Austrian Society of Periodontology is organising a press conference on May 12, which coincides with the Vienna Dental Fair, along with other activities.
The Belgian Society of Periodontology will run a dual media campaign, targeting both dentists and the public, to emphasises the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease. The campaign will involve public television, radio, and print.
The British Society of Periodontology is focusing on raising awareness of the links between periodontal diseases and diabetes, targeting both people with diabetes and dental and medical professionals. It will run a campaign jointly with Diabetes.co.uk, an online community with more than half a million members with diabetes and a database of 10,000 healthcare professionals.
The Finnish Society of Periodontology is planning to publish articles in a dental journal, to send out a press release, and to set up a television interview with its president, Eija Könönen.
The French Society of Periodontology and Oral Implantology is planning a special event at Montpelier University, in partnership with Proctor & Gamble, modelled on the successful multidisciplinary day it held last year to raise awareness about the links between periodontal and systemic health.
The German Society of Periodontology is distributing posters and other material to its members to highlight the importance of early diagnosis of periodontitis and to explain the Periodontal Screening Index (PSI). It will produce videos in which patients talk about their experience of periodontitis and will also send press releases to the specialist and general media.
In Greece, the Hellenic Society of Periodontology is planning events in shopping malls in Athens and Thessaloniki to promote the message about periodontal health.
The Hungarian Society of Periodontology plans to make a short video for patients about periodontal disease and will also issue a press release and promote the day via social media.
The Irish Society of Periodontology is planning a press release and to promote European Gum Health Day at a national dental conference which takes place the same week.
The Israeli Society of Periodontology and Osseointegration has been running a periodontal-health awareness campaign using humorous videos, which have gone viral on social media. It will link one of these videos to European Gum Health Day, using the #perioday hashtag.
The Italian Society of Periodontology and Implantology is preparing to rent some vans with dental chairs to visit the main squares of seven or eight of the biggest cities in Italy to provide screenings for periodontitis.
The Lithuanian Association of Periodontology plans to spread information on periodontitis via Facebook and to give away leaflets in the main shopping malls in cities and large towns across Lithuania.
The Moroccan Society of Periodontology and Implantology is organising conferences about periodontal and general health in the dental faculty at Casablanca University and at a hospital, and will also provide free periodontal diagnosis for patients with diabetes and heart disease.
In the Netherlands, the Dutch Society of Periodontology is planning a “walk-in hour” in periodontal practices and three university dental faculties, where people can walk in for periodontal-health assessments and receive information about periodontitis. It also plans to promote the day through social media, its own website, and via mainstream media.
The Portuguese Society of Periodontology and Implantology is preparing a campaign to distribute information to the public in the streets of Lisbon, Oporto, and Coimbra. It is also creating videos and preparing a Facebook campaign about periodontal disease and its relationship with systemic diseases.
The Romanian Society of Periodontology is organising a course for European Gum Health Day, which will highlight the importance of gingival health in the context of general health and the links between periodontal and systemic diseases.
The Russian Society of Periodontology is preparing an information day for patients with printed information about oral hygiene, as well as a television interview on gum health and a publication in a specialist periodontal journal on maintenance therapy and the need for oral hygiene.
The Slovenian Society of Periodontology will hold a round-table discussion on periodontal-systemic interactions at the Medical Chamber of Slovenia and is arranging a 30-minute talk on Slovenian national radio.
The Spanish Society of Periodontology and Osseointegration plans various activities including press conferences about its partnerships (such as the Alliance for Health) with other professional bodies, scientific debates, the presentation of a study about the links between oral health and sports performance, and periodontal check-ups at the SEPA Gum Health Centre.
The Swedish Society of Periodontology is planning to disseminate European Gum Health Day through press releases and will seek a spot on a national television channel. It plans to produce a poster to distribute to its members to display in their waiting rooms.
The Turkish Society of Periodontology is planning television interviews and other media activities and will offer free periodontal examinations at universities.
The EFP has produced a wide range of materials for the national societies to use for the events that they are organising for May 12. These include guidelines, logos, posters, graphics for social media, and press releases that can be freely used, translated, and adapted to local needs.
Filippo Graziani, the EFP’s co-ordinator of this year’s awareness day, said: “European Gum Health Day is targeted at the population at large. We are finally succeeding in communicating with the public and not only with our patients.”