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Why Does Plaque Cause Gums to Bleed?

Bleeding gums are definitely a sign that you are in need of dental care. Read on to learn how plaque can do serious damage to your teeth and gums. This is a reminder to brush at least twice daily, to floss daily, and to visit your dentist twice a year! Thanks for visiting us at Texarkana Endodontics.

Bacteria (also known as plaque), tartar, food and dental work are the 4 main irritants that cause gums to bleed.

Plaque irritates the gums because it is a colony of harmful bacteria that make the gums raw and painful.

Plaque is the sticky, nearly invisible film of bacteria that continually forms in your mouth. It’s the stuff that makes teeth “feel fuzzy” to the tongue and is most noticeable around areas that are missed when brushing.

Plaque builds up on:

  • the teeth
  • dental restorations (fillings, crowns, and dentures, for example)
  • the gums
  • the tongue

Plaque that is removed every 24 hours (usually the “easy to reach with a toothbrush” areas of your mouth) does little to no harm to your body, gums and teeth, but when plaque sticks to itself and feeds on carbohydrates it multiplies both in size and the amount of harmful bacteria.

As plaque is feeding on carbohydrates, it becomes very acidic. The acid spike lasts for 20 minutes after you finish eating.

Side note: This is why frequent snackers tend to get cavities.

As plaque builds up it becomes a yellowish film of tiny food particles and bacteria. Plaque that sits for too long may look orange, green, grey, and let me tell you, when plaque sits and matures, PEE-YEW, that stuff is stinky!

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Topics: Brushing habits, Flossing, Foods, Oral Health