THERE are many reasons to pay attention to oral health. Research shows a correlation between gum disease and general health including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and even, Alzheimer’s.
However, 94 per cent of Malaysian adults have gum disease based on data from the National Oral Health Survey of Adults 2010.
The main cause of gum disease is plaque, a soft sticky film containing billions of bacteria.
When plaque builds up between teeth, along the gum line and inside gum pockets, the harmful substance caused by bacterial build-up, damages gum tissue.
A recent study conducted by Lion Corporation on 450 Malaysian adults showed that 80 per cent of respondents had at least one visible sign or symptom of gum disease, the most common being bleeding and swollen gums, but only 1 per cent were aware they had gum disease.
Preventive oral health measures such as early detection and treatment of gum disease can change the oral disease continuum, providing a means to address the cumulative public health burden.
In line with this, Systema, the gum health expert from Japan is working with the Ministry of Health and the Malaysian Dental Association (MDA) on a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) campaign called “Gumbatte Towards Healthy Gums and Teeth”.
The campaign aims to educate Malaysians and uplift their oral care practices, working towards better gum health for all by reaching more than two million people with fact-based and research-supported oral health information and free dental check-ups, to gradually reduce gum disease among adults.
“The pandemic has held us in survival mode for almost a year, but now it is time to refocus on important issues such as gum health. Healthy gums and teeth are vital for better quality of life,” says Southern Lion Sdn Bhd, senior general manager, Carmen Foo.
Gum disease is highly prevalent, yet preventable. There is a serious lack of awareness of gum disease and its potential to impact quality of life, and its link to other major diseases as well.
MDA honorary general secretary Dr Chong Zhen Feng says that since the pandemic, with the general public putting off routine dental check-ups, dental professionals have noticed a decrease in patients’ attendance. This may lead to worsening of oral diseases.
“In Malaysia, gum disease is highly prevalent due to low awareness on the importance of good oral health care. Through the Gumbatte Towards Healthy Gums and Teeth campaign, we wish to provide oral health care education across the country with the aim of improving the gum health and the general health of the nation.”
Members of MDA will be providing free dental check-ups in support of the campaign until the end of April.
The campaign also includes the contribution of 10,000 trial size Systema toothpaste tubes for the public, 9,000 full-sized tubes for oral health frontliners and an interactive website that provides education on the signs and symptoms of gum disease.
It also includes a free gum health check assessment tool and engaging and awareness raising activities on social media and discounted Systema products to bring oral health products within everyone’s reach.
Visit www.gumhealthcheck.com to take your online gum health check today.
© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd