News & blogs News Health campaigners promote importance of good gum health on European Gum Health Day 12 MAY 2019 Oral health campaigners are looking to promote the benefits of looking after your gums and how best to keep gum disease at bay. European Gum Health Day 2019 (Sunday 12 May), aims to raise awareness of the link between gum health to overall health, self-esteem and self-confidence. In the UK, up to nine in every ten people have some form of gum disease.  In recent years, the common disease has been linked with a number of different general health conditions including diabetes, strokes, cardiovascular disease and impotence. The Oral Health Foundation is keen to remind Brits that the importance of good gum health goes beyond our mouth and has a strong influence on our overall wellbeing. Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, says: “For those of us who hope to keep all our teeth for life, developing an oral health routine that helps maintain healthy gums is essential. “Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. There is also a growing body of evidence that links it to a number of different health problems in other parts of the body. “Most of us are likely to suffer from some form of gum disease at some point in our lives. Initiatives like European Gum Health Day are so important for helping us to become aware of how important good gum health is and how we can achieve it.” According to a new survey conducted as part of National Smile Month (which starts tomorrow), the Oral Health Foundation have found that more than half the adult UK population (52%) have experienced bleeding gums in the last year. Bleeding gums are widely recognised as an early symptom of gum disease and a sign that we need to pay more attention to our gum health. On the campaign, Lior Shapira, co-ordinator of European Gum Health Day, says: “The main aim of this year’s awareness day is to increase the public awareness that gum health is tightly connected to general health, wellbeing, and a beautiful smile. “People today pay much attention to their look and have no clue that gum disease can ruin it forever. “Many of us are aware that gum health has an impact on health – but the aesthetics should not be ignored as this is an important part of our mental health. “This is why the slogan chosen for European Gum Health Day is ‘healthy gums, beautiful smile’ and we hope to see plenty of people across Europe getting involved.” Gum Health Day 2019 is the sixth EFP-promoted annual awareness day organised by the national perio societies. With it, they hope to see further actions taken towards prevention, early detection and treatment of gum disease. Dr Mark Ide, President of the British Society of Periodontology, says: “We hope that people across the world will use this day as an opportunity to really learn more about how they can maintain good gum health. “It takes a relatively small amount of time each day to give your gums the attention they need, and you will in turn benefit from in the long run. “Brushing twice a day, with a fluoride toothpaste, is a key part of any good oral health routine and necessary for those looking to maintain good gum health. “Daily cleaning between your teeth, with interdental brushes or floss, is also vital for keeping gum disease at bay. “It might not sound like a lot but those few minutes each day can make a huge difference.” For more information on European Gum Health Day 2019, head to https://www.efp.org/events/european-gum-health-day/index.html. References Bupa.co.uk. (2019). Gum disease | Health Information | Bupa UK. [online] Available at: https://www.bupa.co.uk/health-information/dental-oral-health/gum-disease [Accessed 10 May 2019].