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Why do my gums bleed when I floss?

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Typically, the answer is gingivitis which put simply is inflammation of the gum tissue. It can be characterized by irritation, redness, swelling, and bleeding of the gums. The good news is that gingivitis is a REVERSIBLE condition.

So, gingivitis is the cause of bleeding gums, but what causes gingivitis?

In most cases, the major cause of gingivitis is the accumulation of bacteria on our teeth. Unfortunately, our teeth make a great habitat for bacteria to thrive, and there are billions of bacterial organisms from up to 700 different bacterial species present in our mouths! After bacteria are deposited on our teeth from our saliva, they quickly begin to grow and replicate. As they grow into a bacterial colonies, they form the invisible sticky film that is known as dental plaque. Plaque requires daily removal because it reforms very quickly. The bacteria that live in these plaque colonies secrete acids that causes tooth decay and begins to irritate the gums causing the inflammation and other symptoms of gingivitis!

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