Itchy Gums: Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention
Feeling itchy in your mouth? Tingly or itchy gums can cause a lot of discomfort and can be a sign that something is off balance within the mouth. Gum health is just as important as taking care of your teeth.
What do Itchy Gums Feel Like?
Itchy gums can make you feel out of whack. There are many accompanying symptoms that you may experience, while some may only experience a few. Nonetheless, the cause of itchy gums should be identified and treated with the help of your dental professional.
- Persistent Itchiness - You may feel slight irritation or tingling in your gums that does not seem to go away.
- Red and Inflamed Gums - You may notice red gums and inflammation of your oral tissues.
- Swollen or Puffy Gums - Swollen or puffy gums are a common sign of inflammation often caused by oral bacteria.
- Tender and Sensitive Gums - Gums that are infected by bacteria tend to be tender and sensitive to touch or pressure.
- Discomfort or Pain In Gums - Itchy gums can be uncomfortable and even painful in some cases.
- Bleeding When Brushing or Flossing - Inflamed gums will easily bleed when brushing or flossing, commonly indicating the presence of gum disease.
- Small Bumps or Sores on Gums - Itchy gums can be accompanied by small bumps or sores on the gums, including dental abscesses.
- Dry or Tight Feeling in Gums - Your gums may feel dry or tight, and may also be an indication of dry mouth.
- Difficulty Eating or Drinking - Itchy gums can make eating and drinking challenging due to the discomfort.
- Increased Sensitivity to Hot/Cold - Gum disease can make your teeth feel sensitive, especially when exposed to hot and cold temperatures.
Why are Your Gums Itchy?
Itchy gums may feel different to each person. Sometimes it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause. Below we will discuss possible causes of itchy gums.
Have you ever asked, ‘why are my gums itchy?’ Itchy gums causes can vary. The best way to eliminate itchy gums is to identify the root cause of the problem so that it can be properly treated.
Your gums may itch as a result of traumatic injury. For instance, a blow to the mouth while playing a sport, or a poor oral habit like smoking or teeth grinding can cause itchy gums.
Hormonal changes, such as during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause can impact your gum health. Fluctuating hormone levels can increase your risk of experiencing itchy gums and other oral symptoms like puffy and bleeding gums.
Wisdom Tooth Removal
Many people must have their wisdom teeth removed for various reasons. In some cases, wisdom tooth extraction can cause your gums to itch. Your dental professional may recommend rinsing with saltwater to help alleviate the discomfort and clean the extraction site.
We may take saliva for granted, but it helps keep our mouths healthy. Without adequate amounts of saliva, your entire oral cavity is at risk of being harmed. Individuals with dry mouth have a higher likelihood of experiencing your gums itching, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can cause gum irritation that leads to itchy gums. Grinding your teeth can also cause tooth fractures and bite changes. Teeth grinding is often induced by stress.
Allergies can irritate more than just your sinuses, including your gums. An allergic reaction to oral products like toothpaste, mouthwash, or food allergies can cause itchy mouth and gums.
Dental plaque is one of the most common causes of itchy gums. It consists of a sticky film of bacteria and food debris that attaches to the surfaces of teeth. If not removed, the bacteria will produce acids that decay your teeth and increase the risk of gum disease.
Improperly Fitted Dental Appliances
Dental appliances like removable dentures that are not fitting properly can cause several gum issues. The ill-fitting appliances may trap bacteria and lead to itchy gums and infection.
Gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease, can cause numerous oral issues. Common signs of gingivitis are bleeding, swelling, and itching gums. This is often triggered by an accumulation of bacterial dental plaque.
Viral infections can create oral sores that make your gums feel itchy. The sensation of itchy gums will often resolve once the viral infection is treated.
How to Treat Itchy Gums?
Need to know how to treat itchy gums? We’ve got the answer for you. There are many itchy gums treatment options and your dental professional can help point you in the right direction.
Professional dental cleanings are necessary to remove dental plaque and tartar. This is one of the most common preventive care procedures. Removing bacteria from the gum line and surfaces of teeth can help improve the health of your teeth and provide itchy gums relief.
Plaque scaling by your dental professional should be performed at minimum twice a year, or at greater frequency depending on the recommendation from your dentist. Unfortunately, at-home tooth brushing alone cannot remove dental tartar.
Antihistamines to treat allergies may help alleviate itchy gums. Speak with your doctor or dentist if you believe you are having an allergic reaction that may be causing itchy gums.
Laser technique is an easy and painless procedure that can remove dental plaque and tartar from the teeth. This may be a great addition to scaling and root planing procedure.
Root planing may be recommended by your dentist if you suffer from gum disease. Root planing helps remove plaque and tartar buildup on the root surface of teeth.
How to Prevent Itchy Gums?
Prevention is the best way to avoid itchy gums. Here are a few simple tips to help you prevent itchy gums.
- Brush and Floss Daily - Brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily is essential for keeping your oral health intact. It is recommended to use a fluoride toothpaste.
- Rinse After Meals - Rinsing your mouth with water after meals can help rinse away oral debris and bacterial plaque. Water can also help neutralize the mouth and dilute harmful acids produced by bacteria.
- Avoid Foods that Cause Irritation - Some foods can cause gum irritation, such as spicy foods and hard items. Do your best to avoid foods that cause irritation which can trigger oral sores and gum issues like itchy gums.
- Quit Smoking - Smoking can cause significant harm to your oral health, especially when it comes to your gums. Speak with your medical and dental professionals right away for help quitting.
- Schedule Regular Cleanings - As mentioned, regular professional cleanings are key to keeping your teeth healthy and oral bacteria under control. It is typically recommended to have dental cleanings at least every 6 months.
- Protect with Fluoride Varnish - Fluoride varnish can help strengthen your teeth and protect against tooth decay. Your dental professional may recommend fluoride varnish, which can be applied in-office following a dental cleaning.
- Regular Dental Checkups - Be sure you are having your routine dental check-ups with our team at Gentle Dental. We are here to help you with any of your dental needs and maintain the health of your smile.
You cannot forget your gums when it comes to dental health! A healthy smile relies on healthy gums. Oral symptoms such as itchy gums can be a sign of an underlying condition taking place. Be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist if you are experiencing itchy gums or any of the symptoms mentioned in this article. Your dental professional can diagnose and help provide you with treatment to relieve itchy gums.