The gingiva (sing. and plur.: gingiva), or gums, consist of the mucosal tissue that lies over the mandible and maxilla inside the mouth. Gingiva are part of the soft tissue lining of the mouth. They surround the teeth and provide a seal around them. Compared with the soft tissue linings of the lips and cheeks, most of the gingiva are tightly bound to the underlying bone which helps resist the friction of food passing over them. Healthy gingiva are usually coral pink, but may contain physiologic pigmentation. Changes in color, particularly increased redness, together with edema and an increased tendency to bleed, suggest an inflammation that is possibly due to the accumulation of bacterial plaque.