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Why Do My Gums Bleed?

Pink in the sink is the first sign of gum disease. It's actually the first sign, which we call gingivitis. And in the dental book that I got in dental school, called Clinical Periodontology, once you have pink in the sink — or gingivitus — you actually have an infectious state. You have bacteria that live in between the tooth and the gum area. Those bacteria start to eat away what's called the periodontal ligament. That's a piece of tissue that holds your teeth inside your head. Your teeth start to become loose. 

Eventually, if it's not treated right away, you actually lose your teeth. Gum disease is the number one reason why people lose their teeth — it's not tooth decay. The reason that your gums are bleeding is those bacteria cause the outer layer of your gum to become very soft — you lose that keratin layer — and you see that pink in the sink. 

Now, the question that I always ask myself, when you spit that blood into the sink and people just don't care — they think that's a normal reaction. Well, it's not normal. That's the first sign of an infection. You literally have an open wound site, which allows toxins to enter the bloodstream through that bleeding site. And the funny thing is, why is it if your ear were to bleed or your eye were to bleed first thing in the morning you'd run off to the emergency room. But your mouth is bleeding and no one seems to care. 

So again, it's an infection. If it's an ongoing problem and if you've had this problem for years you need to see a dentist, either to have the infection treated with antibiotics, to have a deep cleaning or even some sort of surgery to have that infection taken care of. 

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