Only 15% of Europeans focus on mouth health despite oral health problems topping most burdening chronic diseases across the globe
New research from Colgate reveals how little we know about the health of our mouths despite 84% of Europeans claiming to lead a healthy lifestyle.1 More than nine in 10 say they proactively look after their health (93%) but only 15% of the respondents polled across Europe view the health of their mouth as a priority.
More than 170 million people globally are members of a health or fitness club2 and Colgate research shows the main focuses of a health and fitness routine are diet (53%), weight (41%) and mental health (32%). It’s clear oral health has been left behind as cavitie stop the most burdening chronic diseases worldwide and periodontal disease is the 6th most burdening chronic disease across the globe.3 The levels of tooth decay globally have remained mostly static in the last 25 years, despite prevention practices and goals to reduce its impact.4
Scientific bodies including the World Health Organisation agree that our mouths shouldn’t be considered in isolation from the rest of the body. In fact, diseases related to the mouth such as gum problems have been linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and even dementia. In its more severe forms, periodontitis is linked with increased mortality rates due to a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and related complications.5
And yet the majority of oral health problems can be prevented or reduced through daily oral care but problematically most people don’t know this, with around half thinking that they can’t prevent conditions such as gingivitis (57%) or even tooth decay (41%) with their oral care routine at home.
Whole Mouth Health Matters
It’s the lack of awareness of how to look after the whole mouth – the teeth, tongue, cheeks and gums – that is the real issue. 33% of Europeans aren’t confident they know how to look after their mouth with 41% saying they only think about their teeth and try to brush them twice a day. One fifth of the 7000 respondents polled across Europe (20%) didn’t know that bacteria live not only on teeth but also on the tongue, cheeks and gums.When left unchecked, bacteria on all of these surfaces can colonise and create a host of problems from gum problems to tooth loss.
Dentist and Influencer Dr Milad Shadrooh, said: “When most people think about oral health they just think about their teeth. But teeth only make up 20% of the mouth. The tongue, cheeks and gums make up the other 80% and these surfaces harbour bacteria as well, needing a similar level of protection as teeth. As a dentist, I actively work with my patients to help them appreciate the importance of whole mouth health. Through education, we can show how easily people can prevent problems before they start by equipping them with the right information and products to look after their mouth health at home.
New Age of Colgate Oral Care
66% of Europeans think they should make whole mouth health more of a priority. To help everyone proactively look after their whole mouth6, Colgate has launched new Colgate Total®, a revolutionary new toothpaste formula. The technology uses unique ingredients including natural element zinc and amino acid arginine together with fluoride7 to form a proactive barrier that fights bacteria on your teeth, tongue, cheeks and gums.
“Overall wellness is important to everyone, and total self-care means caring for the whole mouth, too,” said Dr. Patricia Verduin, Chief Technology Officer, Colgate-Palmolive Company. “We rely on our mouth to eat, drink, speak and laugh, but often neglect areas beyond teeth. Unlike ordinary fluoride toothpastes8, the new Colgate Total fights bacteria not just on teeth, but also on tongue, cheeks and gums for 12 hours9, for whole mouth health.”
Using new Colgate Total twice daily is clinically proven to reduce the build-up of plaque and gum problems in the mouth by up to 30% compared to ordinary toothpastes10. Other benefits include enamel protection, instant neutralization of odours related to bad breath, new improved flavours and protection against other oral health problems such as gum problems, sensitivity, stains and tartar. New Colgate Total is now available in stores.
1Research commissioned for Colgate by OnePoll of 7000 adults (18+) across the following 6 European markets: UK, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Poland
2More than 170 million people globally are members of a health/fitness club (Statista 2017)
3FDI Oral Health Atlas 2015
4International Association for Dental Research and the Fédération Dentaire Internationale (FDI) 3 World Dental Federation Assembly
5European Federation of Periodontology Recommendations for the Public
6Teeth, tongue, cheeks and gums
7Colgate Whole Mouth Health Whitepaper: The Next Generation of Everyday Prevention for Oral Health
8Fluoride toothpaste refers to non-antibacterial fluoride toothpaste
9After 4 weeks of continued use
10A clinical investigation of a Dual Zinc plus Arginine dentifrice in reducing established dental plaque and gingivitis over a 6-month period of product use, Garcia-Godoy, F et al, J Clin Dent, submitted August 2018