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Is it just because when I don't floss for a long time (few weeks to a few months) the food trapped between my teeth causes bacteria that cause my gums to swell up?

Thanks,

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Although there is limited scientific evidence for flossing, it unquestionably does physically remove plaque between teeth, which cannot be removed with the bristles of a toothbrush. If it is not removed, the plaque in turn can cause gingivitis and ultimatly periodontitis (formation of pockets).

To answere your question weather there are other contributing factors :

  • Flossing possibly stimulates the gums physicaly, and makes them become firmer, but currently there is very little in the way of evidence for that.

  • Another possibility is that by flossing regularly, you also use simultaneously other means of cleaning teeth, such as regular teeth brushing and mouth rinces)

Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24353078 (limited scientific evidence)

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