Why do the gums bleed upon probing? Because the gingival epithelium lining the sulcus is ulcerated, exposing the capillary beds in the underlying connective tissue. The probe nicks the capillaries when it contacts the ulcerated epithelium, which is denuded … meaning it is gone. An intact gingival epithelium acts as a bacterial and toxin barrier to the systemic circulation.
Is BOP more important perhaps than we realize as it relates to periodontal disease and systemic health? You bet! It constitutes a diagnosis of gingivitis, which is the right time to intervene before full-blown periodontal disease develops. More on this next time.