The European Federation of Periodontology has launched the “Tooth decay and gum disease” campaign, a European-wide initiative to help tackle the two most widespread health conditions in the world. The BSP is supporting the awareness campaign in the UK.
Here are the top 10 things you need to know about tooth decay and gum disease:
- Tooth decay (caries) and gum disease (periodontal disease) are the most common human diseases – and both are preventable.
- The burden of these diseases is high and increasing as the population ages.
- Dental professionals should be consulted regularly to prevent and treat tooth decay and gum disease effectively.
- Bleeding gums are not normal. Dental professionals should be consulted immediately.
- The oral healthcare team can advise on weight loss, smoking cessation, exercise and controlling diabetes and blood sugar levels in general.
- Gum disease may be seen as an indicator of general health issues.
- Education for oral health should target children, mothers-to-be, new mothers, care home workers and other caregivers.
- Oral health status in older individuals is influenced by their level of dependence, rather than by their chronological age.
- Reducing sugar and starch intake levels and frequency is important in preventing gum disease and tooth decay. Intake should be limited to mealtimes.
- Brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste is essential and can also be supplemented with additional effective agents that reduce plaque, such as those found in mouthwash and toothpastes.