Why do my gums bleed and should I do something about it?

The simple answer is your gums bleed because there is some plaque hanging around them. Plaque is the soft stuff you try to brush/floss of your teeth. Essentially it is bacteria. Just like anywhere else in your body, if bacteria gets in where it shouldn’t, your body mounts an immune response and gets red and swollen. As your gums get puffy and irritated, they tend to bleed and when brushed or flossed.

The proper name for this is ‘gingivitis’. It can be reversed easily and it is definitely a good idea to get it sorted, as long-term gum inflammation can lead to loss of the support part of the gum and bone around your teeth (periodontitis) – which means gum recession and loose teeth. It has also been linked with systemic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, stroke and Alzheimers.