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Soapy Toothpaste May Fight Gum Disease

Wash your mouth out with soap! That’s the message from a toothpaste manufacturer that wants to add an ingredient from antibacterial soaps to its product to fight gum disease.

The ingredient is triclosan, which is used in shampoo and face cream but not toothpaste.

The Colgate-Palmolive Co. says its paste, called Total, reduces plaque and the gum disease gingivitis and the Food and Drug Administration granted the company permission to market it.

Two tests showed the triclosan-laced toothpaste reduced gingivitis by 19.3 percent and 29 percent. But dental health experts cautioned that the toothpaste won’t cure serious gum disease.

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