6 Detailed Causes of Itchy Gums And Tips For Fast Relieve

Last Updated on: 11th June 2024, 06:53 am

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Q.F. Nayibe Cubillos Morales

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Dr. Gustavo Assatourians D.D.S

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Dental health is often associated with having clean, white, and shiny teeth, but having healthy gums is also important. In this post, we’ll explore the main causes of itchy gums and provide tips on how to prevent this annoying condition. The gums cover the tissues that support the tooth and protect the dental roots from external stimuli. Itchy gums can be uncomfortable, and in some cases, make it difficult to talk and eat. 

 

What Causes Itchy Gums?

a girl with itchy gums

Itchy gums can alert you to certain alterations in your oral health. Some causes are not a major problem, while others are serious diseases, such as periodontitis, which, if not treated in time, can lead to tooth loss.

 

Common Causes of Itchy Gums

1. Gum disease

It is produced by the accumulation of food and bacteria on the surface of the teeth, generating gingival inflammation, which results in bleeding, swelling, and redness. When gingivitis progresses without treatment, the inflammation worsens and the gums detach from the teeth. Click here to read more about the effective treatments and prevention of periodontal diseases

They form small pockets that become infected and generate the destruction of the bone that supports the teeth. This condition is called periodontitis, and in some people, it can be itchy. Some habits such as tobacco or vaper use can worsen gum disease. If you want more information on how you can prevent gum disease you can read it here.

2. Hormonal changes

During puberty, pregnancy, or menopause, hormonal changes can increase the risk of swollen and itchy gums. This gets worse if good hygiene habits are not maintained.

3. Oral allergy syndrome

It is an allergic reaction that appears when people allergic to pollen consume certain foods, such as nuts, vegetables, and raw fruits. When this happens, the body releases substances that cause swelling and itching. Hay fever can also cause itchy gums.

4. Dentures and poor oral hygiene

The accumulation of food between the fixed prostheses and the gums can cause inflammation and itching. Poorly fitting dentures or those not cleaned correctly can cause fungal lesions, causing tingling and itching of the palate.

5. Bruxism

Grinding and clenching of the teeth often occur as a result of stress, usually during sleep. This friction can cause itchy gums, especially in areas where the teeth contact the gums or on the lateral edges of the tongue. In some cases teeth grinding is associated with cavities as well, you can read more about the connection between teeth grinding and cavities here.

6. Medications that cause dry mouth

Many drugs can decrease the flow of saliva. The lack of lubrication of the mucosa can irritate, burning, or itching.

 

Less Common Causes

1. Allergy to metals for dental use

Although it is not frequent, some metals used in dental prostheses and orthodontic devices (braces) can cause allergies and itching in some people. This is more common in those who have an allergy to the metals in dental jewelry.

2. Healing after tooth extraction

After tooth extraction, the closure and recovery of the tissues can be itchy. However, it is not appropriate to touch or disturb the area, as this could prevent good healing.

3. Tooth eruption

Often tooth eruption can be itchy. This is more common in babies, but it can also happen during wisdom teeth eruption.

 

How to Prevent Itchy Gums?

a girl biting a plastic

Maintain good oral hygiene

Be sure to remove food debris from all dental surfaces. This prevents inflammation of the gums and the appearance of periodontitis.

Improve the hygiene of dentures and dental appliances

Poor hygiene of dental prostheses can irritate the mucous membrane. It is important to clean these devices daily, with a soft brush and liquid hand soap.

It is advisable to avoid using toothpaste and hard brushes on acrylic appliances and prostheses, as they can make the surface porous, facilitating the accumulation of microorganisms that can cause fungal infections.

Avoid triggers

If you have identified an allergy to some foods or materials, avoid consumption or contact with them. Before the placement of dentures or braces, tell your dentist if you have had allergic reactions to metals.

Visit your dentist regularly

Regular visits to the dentist favor the health of the gums is preventative, since deep cleanings help avoid the appearance of periodontitis and allow timely detection of oral health problems.

 

How to Relieve Itchy Gums?

doctor operating the gums

Perform proper oral hygiene

Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and use dental floss and mouthwash.        

Professional dental cleaning

If you have inflamed gums, a professional cleaning can remove the food plaque and bacteria that cause discomfort.

Modify harmful habits

Avoid tobacco use and inhalation of other toxic substances.

Ice cubes

Placing cold on the gums can help relieve itching after tooth extraction or during tooth eruption.

Chew sugarless gum

Chewing gum stimulates salivary flow, helping to reduce the itching sensation caused by a dry mouth.

Antihistamines

A healthcare professional may prescribe these allergy medications to help manage hypersensitivity reactions.

Change of dental prosthesis

If the itching is generated by a dental prosthesis in poor condition, it is convenient to change it. Remember that acrylic dentures have a useful life of between 3 and 5 years. A new denture, along with treatment for yeast infections can help eliminate an itchy palate and gums.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which nutrient deficiency can result in gum itchiness?

Insufficient intake of vitamin C, for instance, can cause gums to become inflamed, swollen, and itchy. This condition, known as scurvy, can lead to tooth loss and various health issues. By maintaining a well-balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables, you can prevent scurvy and other vitamin deficiencies.

The accumulation of plaque along the gumline can lead to an itchy feeling in your gums, which can be perceived as itchiness in your teeth as well. Gum disease can increase tooth sensitivity, potentially resulting in an itchy sensation.

Additionally, an excess of mucus, often associated with chronic sinus issues or a common cold, can stimulate the production of plaque. If not addressed or treated promptly, the accumulation of plaque can progress to gingivitis, which is the initial stage of gum disease. During this phase, experiencing “itchiness” is a common symptom.

Occasionally, when you injure your gums, undergo a tooth extraction, such as wisdom teeth surgery, or develop a gum sore, you may experience itchiness as part of the healing process. This is a natural aspect of the healing journey, and it is advisable to refrain from scratching the area, as doing so could reopen the wound.

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References

1. Babiner, M. (2022). Itchy gums: Root causes, treatments, prevention & outlook. triplebristle.com. Retrieved May 28, 2023, from https://www.triplebristle.com/blog/periodontitis/itchy-gums

2. HHolland, K. (Aug 22, 2017).Itchy gums. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/itchy-gums

3. Oral allergy syndrome. (2022). Kidshealth.org. https://kidshealth.org/es/parents/oas-sydrome.html

4. Whitney DiFoggio BS, R. D. H. (Nov 19, 2022). 11 reasons why your gums are itchy. Teeth Talk Girl. https://www.teethtalkgirl.com/dental-health/itchy-gums

5. Sissons, C. (Sep 29, 2017). Itchy gums: Causes, relief, and prevention. Medicalnewstoday.com. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319565

6. Rodríguez Ortega, J., Miranda Tarragó, J., Morejón Lugones, H., & Santana Garay, J. C. (2002). Candidiasis of the oral mucosa: bibliographic review.Cuban Journal of Stomatology, 39(2), 187-233.

 

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