Run for Fun ... and Periodontal Health

Runners in front of PerioDash Team LA sign
Over 80 participants representing UCLA Dentistry and the West LA VA signed up for PerioDash 2022.
October 9, 2022

The running conditions were great, as was the cause…

On a cool, cloudy Sunday morning, the UCLA School of Dentistry periodontics community gathered at Palisades Park in Santa Monica for PerioDash 2022. This virtual 5K organized by the American Academy of Periodontology Foundation raises funds for and awareness about periodontal health.

Since its inception in 2015, SOD faculty, residents, and students have partnered with peers from the West Los Angeles Veteran’s Association to run as Team LA; groups across the country compete and log their finish times between of Oct. 1-15. The top-three male- and female-identifying finishers in the PerioDash, in both over- and under-30 categories, will receive a Lululemon gift card.

“It is a fun way to raise awareness about periodontal health while getting to know students, residents and faculty a little bit better,” said Dr. Flavia Pirih, Professor and Tarrson Family Endowed Chair in Periodontics who is currently serving a one-year term as AAP Foundation president. “We had more than 80 registrants, some running virtually as well. It is hard to believe that we started with 17 participants in 2015!”

Team LA is organized cabinet members of the Perio Study Club, one of many student-run SOD organizations, and its faculty advisor Dr. Beatriz Bezerra. Perio Study Club also offers guest lectures and workshops to students on a quarterly basis.

In addition to team sponsorships, raffle items are another PerioDash fundraiser. Items were donated by Dr. Joan Otomo-Corgel – Chair of the SOD’s Board of Counselors – as well as Dr. Sunil Kapila, Dr. Yvonne Kapila, Dr. Alan Young, Dr. Omar Sherif Omar, Lizeth Le, and Toni Susskind.