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Looking out for warning signs that may point to gum disease is one of the best things people can do to protect their dental health.
That is the advice given by the Pennsylvania Dental Association, which is reminding Americans that periodontal disease is preventable with the proper dental hygiene habits.
The PDA recommends that people brush their teeth twice per day, as well as flossing daily. This will help rid the mouth of food particles and plaque, which can harden into tartar beneath the gum line. Mouthwashes aimed at killing bacteria can also help toward this end.
A healthy diet is also important to keep teeth and gums in tip-top shape. Eating from each of the five food groups and avoiding junk food is a good start.
Symptoms of gum disease include red, swollen or tender gums, as well as gums that bleed easily. Bad breath or loose teeth can also signify a problem, as can changes in tooth alignment.
Anyone who notices these symptoms should visit their dentist immediately for a checkup, the PDA said.
There are two types of gum disease. Gingivitis is milder, but if left untreated it can progress to periodontitis, which is a more serious condition.
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