Gum Health Day 2020 to be celebrated worldwide on 12 May

"Say NO to bleeding gums" is the slogan for Gum Health Day 2020, to be celebrated worldwide on 12 May. Its goal is to raise public awareness about bleeding gums, which are usually a sign of a gum disease that will require treatment at the dental practice.

Gum diseases are usually painless and the most frequent sign of suffering from them is bleeding gums. "Gums are not supposed to bleed without reason," says Andreas Stavropoulos, co-ordinator of Gum Health Day 2020. "If your gums bleed when you brush your teeth or when you bite on food - an apple, for example - you should visit your dentist for a periodontal check-up as soon as possible."

Prof Stavropoulos adds that "Gum Health Day 2020 aims to remind people that gum health is a key factor for general health and well-being throughout life, and that gum disease is an important public-health issue as it is linked to very serious conditions."

Gingivitis, periodontitis, and peri-implantitis are chronic, inflammatory gum diseases that affect hundreds of millions adults worldwide.

Unfortunately, gum diseases are still poorly acknowledged by the public, even though scientific evidence shows that they may pose a threat to general health as they are associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, certain forms of cancer, pregnancy complications, erectile dysfunction, and other serious or chronic conditions.

More than 40 countries are joining Gum Health Day 2020 - from Europe, the Americas, Africa, Middle East, Asia, and Australasia. The EFP and its affiliated societies have organized a wide variety of initiatives - most of them digital because of the Covid-19 pandemic - which include educational videos, publications, social-media campaigns, an Instagram Live session, and other online initiatives. More details are available at gumhealthday.efp.org.

In the framework of Gum Health Day 2020, the EFP encourages dentists, researchers, and other health-related professionals to sign and disseminate the EFP Manifesto: Perio and General Health, an international call to action for the prevention, early detection, and treatment of gum disease.

Individuals and organizations are invited to endorse it by clicking at http://www.efp.org/efp-manifesto/ and join the more than 1,100 professionals, dental practices, companies, and universities having supported it so far.

Last year, Gum Health Day was celebrated in 47 countries: 28 in Europe, 13 in Latin America, five in Asia, and one in Africa. Twelve countries from outside the EFP decided to take part in this campaign around the slogan 'Healthy gums, beautiful smile'.

Gum Health Day 2020 is a major EFP initiative to get the public informed every year of the value of healthy gums for a healthy life,Even if we are living exceptional, strange times worldwide with the Covid-19 pandemic, we should not forget the role of our gum health in our global health. Taking care of our gums also applies in these days."

Xavier Struillou, President, European Federation of Periodontology

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