Periodontitis is an infection of the gums and a major cause of tooth loss in adults.
Scientists analyzed data on more than 37,000 adults and found that 47 percent had gum disease.
Among adults 65 and older, the problem was even worse: 64 percent had gum disease.
Gum disease has also been linked to other health problems. Warning signs include gums that bleed easily or are red, swollen and tender. Other signs include gums that have pulled away from the teeth or chronic bad break or bad taste in the mouth.