If you're experiencing itchy gums, you might be feeling a tickle or tingle around your gum line, or even some discomfort. Itchy gums are typically a result of poor oral hygiene, but a dental professional can tell you for sure and offer treatment to give your itchy gums relief.
Why Do You Have Itchy Gums?
These are a number of reasons why you might be experiencing itchy gums, some causes of itchy gums could include plaque build-up, allergies, sensitivity or a reaction to a recent surgery.
Plaque is the most common cause of itchy gums. Plaque is a sticky film containing bacteria that accumulates around the teeth and gum line. When plaque builds up, it can irritate the gums and lead to gingivitis, or inflammation of the gum tissue.
An allergy is a heightened immune response to a foreign object, which often includes itching and irritation. If your gums are itching, you may have come into contact with something you're allergic to.
There is a specific type of allergy, called oral allergy syndrome. This allergy can cause redness, swelling, burning and itching of the soft tissues in the mouth, including the gums. It can be caused by allergens found in pollen, raw fruits, vegetables, and some tree nuts.
If you suspect you have an allergy of any kind, it's important to see your primary care doctor for an allergy assessment and diagnosis. In the meantime, your dental professional may be able to offer you advice or treatment to minimise the discomfort of itchy gums.
Itchy gums can also be caused by sensitivity to a particular substance. Unlike an allergy, which is an immune response, a sensitivity reaction happens when the gums physically come into contact with something that irritates them. This may be a food, drink, medicine, oral hygiene product, or anything else placed on or around the gums.
If you think you're experiencing sensitivity and itchy gums in response to an oral care product, like toothpaste or mouthwash, speak to your dental professional. They may be able to help you find an alternative product that meets your needs without causing discomfort.
It's not uncommon for your gums to itch after having a surgery, such as wisdom teeth removal. In some cases, itching near the surgical site might be an early sign of infection. Avoid scratching, rinse your mouth with saltwater (if it has been over 24 hours since the surgery), and see your dental professional or surgeon to make sure you're healing properly.
Plaque build-up is a potential cause of itchy gums. Keep in mind that plaque-build up can be reduced in future by:
- Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Flossing or cleaning between your teeth at least once a day.
- Using an antibacterial mouth rinse at least once a day.
- Scheduling regular check-ups and cleanings with your dental professional.
If your itch doesn't go away or keeps coming back, check in with a dental professional so they can properly examine your gums and teeth.
This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.