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Gum disease occurs when the gum (gingiva) - the mucosal tissue surrounding and protecting the teeth - becomes infected and inflamed. Gum disease is usually caused by plaque, a sticky coating of bacteria that accumulates on the teeth along the gum line and causes irritation. The immune system triggers an inflammation response in order to remove this bacteria, leading to symptoms such as redness, swelling, tenderness and bleeding. All people naturally carry bacteria inside their mouths. These bacteria feed on the sugars in foods and drinks that are consumed. As a result, plaque is continuously being formed and providing millions of bacteria with an environment to live and multiply in.
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