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By Wilfred Pilo
KUCHING, March 19: Gum disease has overtaken cavities as the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. This is caused by prolonged plaque build-up in between teeth, along the gum lines and in gum pockets due to poor brushing habits.
Sarawak Health Department’s periodontal clinical specialist Dr Tie Sing Fong said that at the moment, 90 per cent of the population in the state, and for that matter worldwide, had something in common — gum disease.
Out of that, 10 per cent have severe gum disease and 80 per cent moderate gum disease, he told DayakDaily when met after the official launching of a Systema programme organised by Southern Lion Sdn Bhd.
The ‘Gum Health Forum for Sarawak’ was held at Pullman Kuching here today.
“In comparison to other states, Sarawak has the worst oral health care at the moment due to lack of awareness. It (lack of awareness) is also due to its vast geographical area,” he added.
However, he was quick to point out that the Medical Dental Care Division of the Health Department had been doing a lot of promotions and outreach programmes, such as dental care talks and free check-ups, to reach out to those living in poorly accessible areas.
Dr Tie said he is a firm supporter of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives like those by Southern Lion’s dental care programme to help the public.
“Companies like Southern Lion can sponsor by giving away toothbrushes and toothpaste to people in the rural areas.
“Some of them can’t even afford to buy toothpaste and toothbrushes. This would be very beneficial for people in rural areas. I do encourage companies like Southern Lion to carry out such programmes in the future,” he said.
Southern Lion’s scientific affairs manager Dr June Lim cautioned that gum disease is a silent disease because in the early stage, there is little or no pain and it often goes unnoticed.
“Gum disease is reversible and preventable at the early stage via simple oral hygiene practices and visits to the dentist,” shared Dr Lim.
Meanwhile, Southern Lion’s marketing manager Jackie Loo said her company, being an advanced daily healthcare company, would continue to lead innovation in developing products that enrich the health, comfort and cleanliness of its consumers.
“We are excited to bring the Systema Advanced Anti-Plaque Toothpaste to Sarawak through a dentist forum that provides us a platform to share insights of the technology, hear feedback and comments from the dentists and having our team to share their know|edge.
“We will continue to do more similar activities here in Sarawak,” said Loo.
At the forum, Systema urged Malaysians to do gum health checks at gumhealthcheck.com.
It is a free online assessment that can help you to assess your gum health condition. — DayakDaily