STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Bleeding gums. Animated scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of blood from bleeding gums showing plaque bacteria and red blood cells (pink). The main cause of bleeding gums is the buildup of plaque at the gum line. This leads to a condition called gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums. Plaque that is not removed, hardens into tartar and can lead to increased bleeding and a more advanced form of gum and jawbone disease known as periodontitis.
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