By Dental Tribune International

Periodontologists announce first European Gum Health Day

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Spain: The European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) has launched the first European Gum Health Day, to be celebrated on 12 May. Through the event, the members aim to raise public awareness across Europe of the importance of keeping one’s gingivae healthy throughout life. The initiative is promoted by the federation and organised by its affiliated national societies. Last year, 21 national societies took part in what was then called European Periodontology Day.

“Fighting periodontal disease together” is the slogan chosen by the EFP to remind authorities and the public that gingival health is an achievable and cost-effective way to improve general health, public health and the quality of life of citizens everywhere. Not only is periodontal disease a serious problem in itself—affecting four out of five people aged over 35—but scientific research has also found solid evidence of links between periodontal disease and diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other chronic non-communicable conditions. Gingival health can thus play a key role in helping to prevent, detect at an early stage and control these serious diseases.

As part of European Gum Health Day 2017, around 25 national societies of periodontology are organising a wide range of public events, conferences, communication initiatives, periodontal check-ups and other activities.

Periodontology experts from 30 national scientific societies specialising in gingival health recently gathered in Santiago de Compostela for an EFP executive committee meeting and general assembly, under the presidency of Professor of Periodontology Juan Blanco Carrion from the University of Santiago de Compostela.

“I am delighted to see that gum heath and gum disease are higher and higher on the health agenda everywhere, and that the EFP and all EFP-affiliated societies are slowly succeeding in our efforts against gum disease at the scientific, clinical, and public awareness levels,” Blanco Carrion said.

As one of the international initiatives for European Gum Health Day 2017, the EFP is encouraging dental professionals and other health care workers to sign and disseminate the EFP manifesto for periodontal and general health, a global call to action for the prevention, early detection and treatment of periodontal disease. The aim of the manifesto is to achieve broad acknowledgement of periodontal disease as a major general health and public health concern. Dental practices, researchers, clinicians, institutions, policymakers, companies and members of the wider medical community worldwide are invited to visit the EFP website and sign the EFP manifesto.

During the general assembly, EFP members also approved a new four-year strategic plan, launched a campaign for the EuroPerio9 congress, which will take place in Amsterdam in the Netherlands in June 2018; incorporated the Azerbaijani Society of Periodontology into the EFP as an associate member; and promoted the Romanian Society of Periodontology to full-member status. Furthermore, Dr Gernot Wimmer, lecturer at the clinical division of conservative dentistry, periodontology and prosthodontics at the Medical University of Graz in Austria, was announced the EFP President for 2018.

The EFP now has 30 members, national societies of periodontology in Europe, northern Africa, and the Middle East, which together comprise about 14,000 specialist dentists, researchers and other members of the dental team focused on improving periodontal science and practice.