Itchy gums are a frequent complaint. “They’re generally a symptom of something wrong, and the reason is usually plaque development and gum disease,” explains Kami Hoss, DDS, a San Diego-based dentist and author of If Your Mouth Could Talk. Plaque and gum disease, however, are not the sole factors. Hormones, allergies, injuries, and other factors may all play a role. Here’s how to determine what’s causing your gums to itch and how to get relief.
8 Reasons for Itchy Gums
Itchy gums occur when the gum tissue becomes infected or damaged. According to Dr. Hoss, an irritating cause the irritation, and consulting a dentist is the best method to determine what’s causing your gums to itch. In the meanwhile, consider the following options:
- Excessive Plaque
Plaque is a whitish, sticky material that may accumulate on the teeth and gums. It occurs when food and saliva interact with germs in your mouth and may get if you don’t clean or brush regularly. According to Brad Eckhardt, DDS, a Greeley, Colorado dentist, this may irritate, cause bleeding, and sensitivity.
- Gum Disease
According to Dr. Eckhardt, excessive plaque formation may ultimately develop into gingivitis, a gum disease.
Gingivitis may cause gums to become irritable and sensitive, as well as puffy and swollen. According to the Mayo Clinic, it may also cause poor breath and bleeding during brushing.
- Mouth Dryness
Dr. Eckhardt explains that your gums might get itchy when you don’t have enough saliva to keep your mouth moist. Dry mouth may be caused by various factors, not all of which are dangerous. With age, the condition becomes more prevalent. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, feeling nervous or agitated may cause your mouth to dry up, as can drugs used to treat high blood pressure, depression, or bladder control disorders (NIDCR).
It may also be caused by chemotherapy, radiation, or nerve injury to the salivary glands.
- Grinding of the teeth or other mouth injuries
Itching might be caused by often grinding your teeth or incurring another sort of gum damage (as well as a headache or facial pain). Other signs of teeth grinding include dental discomfort, face pain, and headaches, particularly in the morning.
Treating Itchy, Irritated Gums
Dr. Eckhardt explains, “It is vital that you determine the reason as soon as possible so that you can obtain the appropriate medication to eliminate the itch and protect the problem from worsening,” Inform your dentist if you feel dentures or another dental procedure causes your itchy gums. They may enhance the fit of your dentures or make other adjustments to make you feel more at ease.
How to Prevent Itchy Gums
Gum irritation is frequent, but there are methods to avoid it. First place on the list? Maintaining good dental hygiene.”The best way to prevent itchy gums caused by plaque accumulation and gingivitis is to brush, floss, and remove plaque from your teeth and gums regularly, “For further protection, rinse with mouthwash to remove even more plaque. If you feel your gums become irritated due to allergies, attempt to limit your exposure. Also, if you smoke or vape, stop. “You’ll considerably reduce your chances of experiencing itchy gums,”
When Should You Visit a Dentist for Itchy Gums?
Occasional gum irritation that disappears quickly. Dentists will check your mouth to evaluate the issue and devise a treatment plan to reduce the itching. Dr. Hoss advises calling your dentist if the offense continues for longer than a week.