‘Treat your gums’ – Gum Health Day 2022 focuses on new guidelines for gum disease prevention and treatment

10 May 2022
2 min read

‘Treat Your Gums’ is the slogan for Gum Health Day 2022, to be celebrated on May 12 in the UK and around the world. This is an international awareness day, spearheaded by the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP), which aims to increase public awareness of the seriousness of gum disease, the health problems associated with it, and the importance of keeping our gums strong and healthy.

The event aims to inform the public of the detrimental effects of gum diseases – gingivitis, periodontitis, peri-implant mucositis, and peri-implantitis – on both oral and overall health. The campaign calls for the prevention, early detection, and – where necessary – effective treatment of gum diseases.

Although still poorly acknowledged by the public, gum diseases are chronic inflammatory conditions affecting a high proportion of adults worldwide, causing tooth loss and other problems in the mouth. Crucially, gum diseases are also 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. This means that gum diseases and their prevention and treatment are of major importance 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,” explains Professor Moritz Kebschull, 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.” That is why the hashtag for the campaign is #TreatYourGums, and why the recent EFP-produced clinical practice guidelines on the treatment of periodontitis are a major part of the Gum Health Day 2022 initiative.

Professor Kebschull adds, “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 depends heavily on how fast the patient takes action.”

More than 47 countries are joining Gum Health Day 2022 – from Europe, the Americas, Africa, Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific region.

British Society of Periodontology and Implant Dentistry (BSP) Activities
This year, the BSP is joining forces with our undergraduate representatives from UK dental and hygiene therapy schools to promote the campaign in and around the UK dental schools.

We have invited each dental and hygiene/therapy school to engage with the public, either on campus or at a local busy space i.e., a train station, shopping centre and hand out leaflets relating to periodontal disease and answer basic questions. Keep an eye out on social media to hear more about their exciting plans!

The BSP seeks to raise public awareness of the importance of gum health and encourages people to visit their dentist, hygienist or therapist for a dental examination, including periodontal screening.

The BSP has made resources available to its 1,580+ members to share with their patients in practice, including information leaflets, powerful videos and images. We are also running a gum health challenge on our social media platforms, which promises to be a huge success in engaging the profession.