KUALA LUMPUR, April 13 – Oral health problems are considered to be largely preventable through effective oral hygiene, yet their prevalence remains high. Oral disease affects approximately 3.5 billion people worldwide according to the latest World Health Organization’s Global Oral Health Status Report. In Malaysia, 94% of Malaysian adults have gum problems and 88.9% have experienced dental cavities as indicated in the National Oral Health Survey of Adults (NOHSA) in 2010.
A separate study by Haleon, one of the world’s largest providers of specialist oral health and maker of Sensodyne, conducted in partnership with Kantar, also showed 71% of Malaysians experience teeth sensitivity symptoms. In a nationwide effort to raise oral health awareness and supported by the Ministry of Health’s Oral Health Division, Haleon has partnered with the Malaysian Dental Association (MDA) to launch #BetterOralCareNation, a month-long campaign providing free dental check-ups starting 1 May as well as educational activities to improve oral health literacy among Malaysians.
Bryan Wong, General Manager, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei (MSB), Haleon, said: “As a world-leading company 100% focused on everyday health, we have the unique opportunity to help break down the social and environmental barriers that hold people back from better everyday health. We constantly seek to improve oral health habits among Malaysians and build awareness of oral health conditions, such as tooth sensitivity and periodontitis, as these can be prevented through effective oral hygiene.
We are committed to supporting the improvement of everyday oral health, and we look forward to our partnership with the Malaysian Dental Association in continuing to educate and empower the public on the importance of everyday oral health.” Dr. Lim Chiew Wooi, President of the Malaysian Dental Association (MDA), said, “Global cases of oral diseases have increased by 1 billion over the last 30 years. This indicates that oral disease is a common health condition globally. Only 16% of Malaysians visit the dentist at least twice a year.
This is alarming as ignoring oral health can significantly not only increase the risk of being exposed to periodontitis or advanced dentine hypersensitivity, but also increase the risk for other conditions and diseases. Individuals who suffer from some types of periodontal disease are twice as likely to be diagnosed with heart disease caused by plaque and bacteria that enter the body through the gums.”
Oral diseases – such as periodontitis – also have wider health implications and have been linked to poor systemic health and non-communicable diseases (NDCs), including diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
As part of the campaign’s educational efforts, Haleon’s dentist-recommended sensitivity toothpaste brand Sensodyne will also roll out on-ground activities in collaboration with healthcare professionals, social creators, and influencers to drive awareness, education, and understanding of the impact of poor oral health including its link to systemic health. Details of the clinic locations and campaign activities will be available on Sensodyne Malaysia’s social media.
Deputy Prime Minister, Dato’ Sri Haji Fadillah bin Haji Yusof graced Sensodyne’s exhibition booth at the launch of Malaysia’s World Oral Health Day 2023 celebration at Bank Negara Malaysia, which he officiated on the 20th of March 2023. The event also unveiled Malaysia’s National Oral Health Policy which aims to define strategies and actions to deliver better oral healthcare to all Malaysians and empower them to further improve their health and quality of life.