European Gum Health Day 2017, a great leap forward for public health education

Last 12 May, 27 EFP-affiliated national societies of periodontology jointly celebrated European Gum Health Day 2017, an international awareness day that succeeded in putting gum health in the spotlight. For the first time an unprecedented amount of coverage was given to periodontal science and practice, and millions of people – from Portugal to Azerbaijan, from Morocco to Finland – learnt about the implications of gum disease and the importance of healthy gums and their impact on their overall health and wellbeing. All this was made possible thanks to the impressive work carried out by these 27 participating national societies – by their boards and their members alike. As a result of their ideas, commitment, and efforts, periodontology is today better known by citizens, policymakers, and fellow health professionals. Thanks to hundreds of periodontists and dentists volunteering to take part in dozens of public events, the message of “fighting periodontal disease together” was communicated very effectively.

In short, European Gum Health Day 2017 was a resounding success and the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) extends its congratulations to all participating national societies – as this success belongs to them above all.

Congratulations for having engaged so well with dental professionals, other health players, institutions, and the media. Congratulations for your leaflet hand-outs, your press releases and press conferences, your social-media campaigns, your free periodontal check-ups, your courses, your public-affairs initiatives, and your clinical surveys.

Congratulations for your TV and radio interviews, your videos, and your scientific articles. Periodontal practices and professionals across Europe will certainly benefit from the growing awareness of gum health and gum disease. But the main beneficiaries of European Gum Health Day 2017 are people. Each additional person who goes for a check-up when they notice their gums are bleeding is a victory. Each parent who now tells their children to patiently clean all chewing surfaces and sides of the teeth at least twice daily is a success. Each physician who now explains to their patients how periodontitis can herald diabetes or interact with it can make a huge difference. 

Editors Notes



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The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) is a nationally recognised body that represents over 4,000 Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists across the UK and beyond.

BSDHT maintain an on-going dialogue with the General Dental Council (GDC), the Departments of Health and all of the main groups representing dental care professionals, and attends meetings of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Dentistry, bringing dental hygiene and therapy to the attention of government ministers and MP’s.

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