Trying to go on with your daily life with itchy gums can be hard to do. What starts as a small tickle in your gums can soon turn into a strong feeling of discomfort in your entire mouth. While it’s important to go to a dentist to ensure that your oral health is not at risk, understanding where the itchiness could be coming from is something that needs to be done to prevent future problems.
Here are some of the reasons why you have itchy gums and what you can do to relieve the discomfort.
Causes of Itchy Gums
Plaque is a thin coating of a sticky substance that builds up on your teeth over time. Over time plaque can begin to buildup and cause irritation to your gums or bleeding unless it’s addressed. Thankfully, practicing good oral hygiene by flossing once a day and brushing your teeth twice a day is often enough to eliminate the plaque buildup.
Learn how a professional dental cleaning can get rid of plaque and sticky teeth.
Periodontal disease / Gingivitis
Periodontal disease is known by many names, including gum disease and gingivitis. It’s used to refer to a condition where plaque buildup has led to tartar which can ultimately lead to red, swollen gums, itchy gums, and a receding gum line.
If it’s not addressed quickly by a dentist it could even lead to tooth loss and might even put you at risk for heart disease and diabetes. Dentists might perform root planing and scaling to dig deep below the gums and remove any plaque that could be causing discomfort and swelling.
Teeth grinding / Bruxism
Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, can occur as a result of grinding your teeth while you sleep. This in turn causes wear on your gums and can leave them feeling irritated or itchy. This can be easily fixed by visiting your dentist and getting a mouthguard to use at night.
Certain medications have the side effect of causing itchy gums. While it might go away with time, there are certain times where consulting with your doctor for an alternative is the best choice.
There are also situations where you might be allergic to a certain kind of food and not know it. For this, it’s important to pay attention to your diet to see if the itchiness begins when you consume a certain kind of food. Most of the time simply eliminating that food from your diet can bring instant relief.
Women during pregnancy, menstruation, or menopause may experience itchy gums as a result of a change in their hormone levels. Often this can come with other oral symptoms such as sensitivity, bleeding, or pain in the gums as well.
Injury to your gums
Sometimes if you injure your gums, have a tooth extraction such as wisdom teeth surgery, or get a sore on your gums, it might feel itchy as it heals. This is a normal part of the healing process and one that should be best left alone since attempting to scratch it could cause the wound to open. Try to focus on something else or consume cold liquids to help you relieve the itchiness.
Dental devices that don’t fit well
Dentures that don’t fit well could lead to an itchy feeling in your gums. This comes as a result of a gap that’s left between the gum and the dentures which allows bacteria to develop as a result of food or other irritants that get in. In minor cases this can lead to a feeling of itchiness, but inflammation and sensitivity might also occur.
This can also occur with dental devices like braces or clear aligners. Ensure that your orthodonic work is done by a certified professional that can expertly apply braces or mold clear aligners. Our Invisalign clear aligners are custom made at our Austin office, to ensure that they fit perfectly and don’t cause itchy or irritated gums.
How to stop itchy gums
Relief from itchy gums is easy to do and often all it takes is some proper care and materials.
Take antihistamines if your itchiness is a result of an allergy. In certain cases, this is often enough to reduce the discomfort although it’s always best to consult with your doctor to determine which type of antihistamine is best for your case.
Rinsing your mouth with cool water is a great way to relieve the inflammation and often this is enough to dislodge any irritants that could be trapped between your gums and teeth. However, rinsing with salt water or even mouthwash can help if cold water alone can’t provide relief.
Suck on ice cubes to cool gums and reduce inflammation. If you’re not a fan of ice cubes, sucking on popsicles has the same effect. Remember to go for varieties that don’t have an excessive amount of sugar since this could cause other dental issues such as plaque.
Limit the amount of spicy or acidic food you eat to avoid irritating your gums even more. Food and drinks such as tomatoes, lemons, orange juice, and coffee could all lead to further irritation. Instead, try eating ice cream or yogurt to help reduce the inflammation.
See your dentist if you continue to feel itchy gums after 3-5 days or experience bleeding since this could be the sign of something more serious such as gingivitis. It’s important for your oral health to make sure that your teeth are fine so consulting with a dental specialist is always the best option to take.
An appointment every 6 months will ensure that your teeth continue to be healthy. Set up your appointment today with Lakeway Cosmetic Dentistry!