On 12 May this year, for the first time in its 67-year history, the British Society of Periodontology (BSP) took the bold step of launching an innovative UK-wide campaign to raise awareness of gum disease and its far-reaching impact on general health.
The BSP is using the power of social media and some eye-opening face cards to show how you could look with gum disease - providing a fun way to draw attention to gum health -which were available via the campaign website and distributed around dental practices, pubs, universities and an event at London's Westfield shopping centre.
BSP President Dr Phil Ower, who was recently interviewed in the BDJ (220: 382), said: ‘As gum disease is a serious public health issue, affecting the quality of life of over half the population, we felt it was time to shout a little louder. We have been met with fantastic support from a variety of organisations’.
The campaign is a new departure for the BSP as it is aimed at the whole country – primarily the public, but health and dental professionals too. The message of the campaign is ‘If left untreated, gum disease will wipe the smile off your face’.
12 May was European Gum Health Awareness Day, part of the European Federation of Periodontology's campaign to raise awareness of gum disease across Europe, drive action and encourage people to have their gum health checked, and encourage people to participate in the campaign and spread the message.
The ultimate aim is to encourage people to visit their dentist if they suspect they may have any of the symptoms of gum disease and to visit www.howsyoursmile.co.uk for more information.