The European Federation of Periodontology celebrates European Gum Health Day on May 12, 2017, a pan-European awareness day taking place in 26 countries. EFP-affiliated national societies have organized an array of communication projects, scientific initiatives, and public events across Europe, northern Africa, and the Middle East, including dissemination of EFP Manifesto and a call on dentists and health professionals to sign it.
Gernot Wimmer, president of the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP), today presented European Gum Health Day 2017 at a press conference in Vienna (Austria), organized by the Austrian Society of Periodontology (ÖGP) and the Austrian Dental Chamber.
European Gum Health Day is an annual awareness initiative (first held in 2014) aimed at highlighting the importance of maintaining healthy gums throughout life. Gum diseases (gingivitis and the more serious periodontitis) can affect not only oral health but also have serious consequences on people’s general health. In addition, periodontal disease can have a negative impact on public health, requiring significant expenditure on treatment for conditions that can be prevented.
European Gum Health Day is co-ordinated by the EFP, with events organized by its affiliated national societies of periodontology. At least 26 national societies from Europe, northern Africa, Caucasia, and the Middle East are actively taking part in European Gum Health Day 2017 with a wide array of public events, communications initiatives, free periodontal check-ups, conferences and courses, and many other activities.
For European Gum Health Day 2017, the EFP has chosen the slogan “Fighting periodontal disease together” to remind authorities and the public that gum health is an achievable and cost-effective way to improve general health, public health, and the quality of life of citizens everywhere. This aim can be achieved only when organisations, public authorities, and oral-health professionals stand together to confront the challenge posed by widespread gingivitis and periodontitis.
Raising awareness of periodontology
Not only is gum disease a serious problem in itself—affecting half of all people aged over 35—but scientific research (1) has also found solid evidence of links between gum disease and diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic noncommunicable conditions. Gum health can thus play a key role in helping to prevent, detect at an early stage, and control these serious diseases.
“European Gum Health Day 2017 is the only international initiative aimed at raising public awareness of periodontology, a branch of dentistry that is already officially recognized as a dental speciality in many countries”, explains EFP president Gernot Wimmer. “It is also a call upon authorities, policymakers, health organizations, and public opinion across Europe to come to a better understanding of how gum health can improve general health and well-being, and save a huge amount of public money in health expenditure.”
At least 26 EFP-affiliated scientific societies of periodontology have joined European Gum Health Day 2017: those of Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Morocco, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
Signing the EFP Manifesto
As one of the international initiatives related to European Gum Health Day 2017, the EFP encourages dentists, oral-care professionals, and other health workers to sign and disseminate the "EFP Manifesto Perio and General Health," a call to action for the prevention, early detection, and treatment of gum disease. The aim of the EFP Manifesto is to achieve a broad acknowledgement of gum disease as a major generalhealth and public-health concern.
Dental practices, researchers, clinicians, institutions, policymakers, companies, and members of the wider medical community are invited to visit efp.org/efpmanifesto/ sign.php and sign the EFP Manifesto.
“European Gum Health Day 2017 aims to remind people that, even if still poorly acknowledged, gum disease is chronic, it is serious, and it is one of the most common adult diseases across Europe,” notes Filippo Graziani, coordinator of European Gum Health Day 2017. “Luckily, it is preventable and treatable.”
The growing burden of gum disease
"Severe periodontitis is the sixth most prevalent disease worldwide with an overall prevalence of 11.2%, affecting about 743 million people, and the global burden of periodontal disease increased by 57.3% from 1990 to 2010. Periodontal diseases are responsible for 3.5 million years lived with disability and the global cost of lost productivity as a result of severe periodontitis has been estimated at US$54 billion per year.” (2)
The EFP, the global benchmark in periodontology
The EFP is the leading voice on gum health and gum disease and the driving force behind EuroPerio—the most important international periodontal congress—and Perio Workshop, a world-leading meeting on periodontal science. The EFP also edits the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, the most authoritative scientific publication in this field, with a 3.915 impact factor. The EFP comprises 30 national societies of periodontology in Europe, northern Africa, Caucasia, and the Middle East, which together represent about 14,000 periodontists, specialist dentists, researchers, and other members of the dental team focused on improving periodontal science and practice.
1. Tonetti M, Kornman KS. Periodontitis and systemic diseases—Proceedings of a workshop jointly held by the European Federation of Periodontology and the American Academy of Periodontology. J Clin Periodontol. 2013;40(Suppl s14):S1-S214. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcpe.2013.40.issue-s14/issuetoc.
2. Tonetti M, Jepsen S, Jin L, Otomo-Corgel J. Impact of the global burden of periodontal diseases on health, nutrition and wellbeing of mankind: A call for global action. J Clin Periodontol. 2017.;0:1-7. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpe.12732.