Few things in life are more annoying than a bad itch, but what if that itching is happening in your mouth? Should you scratch it?
Itchy gums can be a sign of a serious problem. If you’ve ever wondered: why are my gums itching, here are the many causes you should consider.
Plaque is a sticky film that naturally builds up on your gums and teeth. It contains active bacteria enjoying particles of food, mostly sugars, you have in your mouth.
Like all living things, bacteria produce a waste product. This acid can make the gums itch, in addition to increasing the rate of tooth erosion.
If you don’t remove plaque by brushing, flossing, or in some cases eating an apple, it builds up and hardens into tartar.
Once it becomes tartar, brushing and flossing won’t remove it. It’s hard like a rock, stuck to your teeth, and irritating.
The tartar works its way up under your gum line and between your teeth. It pulls the gums away from the tooth, creating pockets of tartar, bacteria, and infected tissues. This becomes a safe place for bacteria to hide and survive brushing, flossing, and antiseptic mouthwashes. Left untreated, the gums will release from the teeth, removing a vital support system from the tooth structure. The tooth may eventually fall out.
If you experience gums itching, chances are this chain reaction is happening in your mouth. But this isn’t the only cause of itchy gums.
Some people suffer from oral allergy syndrome (OAS). This allergy causes an itchy gum sensation. In extreme cases, you may also have mouth, tongue, or throat swelling.
Most people with this condition find that certain raw fruits or vegetables cause it, especially if underripe. Plants have all kinds of natural substances to protect them from being eaten by people or animals until the fruit is ripe. Some people are more sensitive to these compounds than others regardless of how ripe the fruit is.
Some common offenders include:
People with latex allergies may also experience gums itching. In some cases, this may become full-blown anaphylaxis. If you have this allergy, you’ll want to verify that your doctor at Cedar Walk Dentistry wears non-latex gloves.
Women, in particular, may experience this when hormones are trying to establish a new hormonal balance. This may occur during:
During these times, you’re also at increased risk of developing gum disease. If you are going through hormonal changes, it’s important to keep your appointment with Cedar Walk Family & Cosmetic Dentistry.
Whether you bit down on a hard tortilla chip or hit your mouth on a counter, once that cut starts to heal it will begin to itch — as most cuts do.
In this case, the itching is the natural result of new gum cells forming and coming together along with beneficial inflammatory substances that keep the cut flushed out so it can heal properly.
If you’re not producing enough saliva because of a disease, medication, dehydration, breathing through your mouth while you sleep, etc., this may be the answer to: why are my gums itching?
Bruxism is characterized by the grinding or clenching of teeth, especially in your sleep. Left untreated, bruxism will wear down your teeth, breaking and loosening them from the gums. This damage often causes itching.
In most cases, you can find relief from gum itching at home. Consider which of the above it might be, and correct that behavior.
Itchy gums are not what is considered a dental emergency. But that doesn’t mean you should put off making an appointment with Cedar Walk Dentistry if the itchiness continues. We look forward to helping you stop the itching and protecting your smile.