You are probably among the 94 percent of Malaysian adults with 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 bacteria build up will damage the gum tissue.
In a recent study conducted by Lion Corporation on 450 Malaysian adults showed 80% of respondents had at least one visible sign or symptom of gum disease, the most common being bleeding and swollen gums, but only 1% realised that they have gum disease (Project Katsu 2017).
Oral health has a strong and proven relationship to systemic health. Research studies show corelations between gum disease and general health including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis,and most recently Alzheimer’s disease.
Preventive oral health measures such as early detection and treatment of gum disease can change the oral disease continuum, a means to address the cumulative public health burden.
Systema, the gum health expert from Japan is working with the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH), and the Malaysian Dental Association (MDA) on a Corporate Social Responsibility campaign to help the public Gumbatte Towards Healthy Gums and Teeth, continuing and increasing its collaborative efforts of previous years.
The campaign aims to educate Malaysians and continue to uplift their oral care practices, working towards better gum health for all by reaching more than 2 million people with fact-based and research-supported oral health information and free dental check-up to gradually reduce gum disease among adults by identifying and preventing oral health problems like gum disease before they become more serious.
The holistic CSR campaign includes the contribution of 10,000 trial size Systema toothpaste for the public, 9,000 full-sized Systema toothpastes for oral health frontliners, an interactive website www.gumhealthcheck.com, and a free gum health check assessment tool, free dental checks-up via participating MDA member clinics, engaging educational and awareness raising activities on social media and deeply discounted Systema products to bring quality oral health products within everyone’s reach.
A social media campaign featuring influencers and users encouraging everyone to Gumbatte Towards Healthy Gums and Teeth will support the campaign from April 1st to April 30th, 2021.
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. Collectively we need to help the nation improve its gum health to reduce the cumulative public health burden. Research studies show corelations between gum disease and heart disease and diabetes. If early detection and treatment of gum disease can help to lower corelations of these life-threatening diseases, we should explore it. Diabetes and heart disease are also known co-morbidities for COVID-19. Malaysians need to recognise the signs and symptoms of gum disease so that they know when something is wrong and can seek help.
Systema and MDA is looking forward to provide support in contributing products, educational materials, online and in-clinic dental check-ups, social media support and services to aid the public at this time when public dental clinics are stretched. This campaign can help the Oral Health Programme, MOH to educate more people on the critical need for better gum care and oral health, equip them with products, and channel them to free dental health check-ups for assessment.
Southern Lion Sdn Bhd, Senior General Manager, Ms Carmen Foo highlighted Systema’s social purpose of creating higher awareness of oral health for healthy gum and a lifetime of healthy teeth, moreso as the world grapples with the pandemic.
“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 again. Healthy gums and teeth are vital for better quality of life, so let’s ‘Gumbatte’! Systema can help by making more people aware of the signs and symptoms of gum disease, that it can often be reversed during early stages by simply brushing teeth and gums twice a day,”said Ms Foo.
“This CSR campaign has measurable goals that can be used to assess its effectiveness across the public and front liners, providing data on what works so that we can provide more targeted support in future to improve oral health outcomes. Tens of thousands of people can do online gum health assessments, and those who require can have free dental check-ups via MDA member clinics. The Systema Gumbatte campaign in 2019 resulted in almost 50,000 people taking the online gum health check, and more than 10,000 visits to participating MDA member clinics for free dental check-ups.,” Ms Foo explained.
The Malaysian Dental Association, Honorary General Secretary Dr Chong Zhen Feng shared that since the COVID-19 pandemic, with the general public putting off routine dental check-ups, dental professionals have noticed the decrease in patients’ attendance. This will inadvertently delay any prompt management and may even lead to worsening of oral diseases.
“The MDA has been partnered with Systema on oral health campaigns, year after year. In Malaysia, gum disease is highly prevalent due to the 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. The number of people we will be able to impact by this initiative is very encouraging.
“Take control of your oral health by visiting, the website: www.gumhealthcheck.com to assess your gum status, and if needed, please visit our participating Malaysian Dental Association member dental clinics for your free dental check-up. ”
He said that the members of the Malaysian Dental Association will be providing free dental check-up in support of the campaign, and it is recommended that everyone visit their dentist at least twice a year.
The Gumbatte Towards Healthy Gums and Teeth campaign plays on the Japanese motivational cry of ‘Ganbatte’ that means ‘you can do it’ as a rallying call to get Malaysians to take charge of their oral health, even during the pandemic. Visit www.gumhealthcheck.com to take your online gum health check, today.