Love Those Gums!
As dental hygienists, we’ve tried many ways to motivate patients to maintain their periodontal health. And you can see from this Purchasing Guide issue, there are myriad products to help us provide the best patient care.
As dental hygienists, we’ve tried many ways to motivate patients to maintain their periodontal health. And you can see from this Purchasing Guide issue, there are myriad products to help us provide the best patient care. Verbal, visual, interactive…how can we effectively communicate the importance of good oral health? How do we make the messaging fun and appealing? The American Academy of Periodontology may have an answer with its new campaign, “Love the Gums You’re With.”
With a clever logo and the help of Chris Harrison—host of the popular television shows “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette”—this is not your typical patient education endeavor. The campaign includes a dedicated website that contains a five-question quiz to determine if “you’re showing your gums enough love.” The responses elicit a “Congrats” or a “Yikes,” and visitors can find a periodontist by typing in their zip code. There is also an opportunity to share a gum health commitment on Facebook with one of three different messages. It’s fun, quick, and easy.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that the prevalence of periodontal diseases has
now surpassed the prevalence of diabetes, with almost 65 million Americans affected.1 As oral health professionals, we know the potential links between periodontal conditions and cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases, and more. We educate our patients about these possible associations, yet the numbers speak for themselves: one in every two adults age 30 and older experiences some form of periodontal disease.2
Can a campaign based on loving your gums make a difference? Time will tell. At the very least, it’s an attention-grabbing, novel approach that is bound to make patients smile.
Jill Rethman, RDH, BA
Editor in Chief
The American Academy of Periodontology celebrates its 100th anniversary this year! The annual meeting will be held September 19 to 22 in San Francisco, and will include a dental hygiene symposium. Visit perio.org for more information.
- Eke P, Dye BA, Wei L, Thornton-Evans GO, Genco RJ. Prevalence of periodontitis in adults in the United States: 2009 and 2010. J Dent Res. 2012;91:914–920.
- American Academy of Periodontology. Gum Disease Prevalence Surpasses Diabetes With Nearly 65 Million Affected. Available at: perio.org/consumer/love_the_gums_you%27re_with. Accessed July 9, 2014.
From Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. August 2014;12(8):8.