Bleeding gums are a sign of inflammation, which is usually caused by supra-gingival and sub-gingival tartar. Tarter is made up of hardened dental plaque which absorbs bacteria and causes a local immune response. When inflammation of the gums spreads to the bone, resorption can result. This process is called “periodontitis”. If the resorption is advanced enough, the bone supporting the teeth will slowly degenerate, creating periodontal pockets. These pockets appear when the space between the tooth and the gum increases due to bone reduction.
If you have periodontal pockets, it is very important to remove tartar regularly to prevent the inflammation from worsening. Inflammation can be managed and bone loss stopped by keeping the space between the gum and the tooth very clean. If the bone loss continues, the teeth could eventually come loose and may need to be extracted.