'Treat your gums' was the slogan for Gum Health Day 2022, due to take place on 12 May, a worldwide awareness campaign organised by the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP). 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.
Moritz Kebschull, coordinator of Gum Health Day 2022, said: '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. "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 guidelines1 on the treatment of periodontitis are a major part of the Gum Health Day 2022 initiative.
Prof Kebschull said: '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. In a nutshell, gum disease treatment that works!'
In the framework of Gum Health Day 2022, the EFP encourages periodontists, dentists, researchers, and other health-related professionals to sign and disseminate the EFP Manifesto: Perio and General Health,2 an international call to action for the prevention, early detection, and treatment of gum disease. Individuals and organisations are invited to endorse it and join the 1,200+ professionals, dental practices, companies, and universities that have so far supported it.
The EFP organises EuroPerio, the world's leading congress in periodontology and implant dentistry, as well as other important professional and expert events. The annual Gum Health Day on 12 May, organised by the EFP and its member societies, brings key messages on gum health to millions of people across the world.
The EFP also organises workshops and outreach campaigns with its partners: projects to date have covered the relationship between periodontal disease and diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and caries, as well as women's oral health during pregnancy.
Sanz M, Herrera D, Kebschull M et al. Treatment of stage I-III periodontitis - The EFP S3 level clinical practice guideline. J Clin Periodontol 2020; 47 Suppl 22: 4-60.
European Federation of Periodontology. EFP Manifesto. Available at: https://www.efp.org/about-the-efp/who-we-are-what-we-do/efp-manifesto/ (accessed May 2022).
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Gum Health Day 2022 focuses on new guidelines for prevention and treatment. BDJ Team 9, 4 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41407-022-0932-9