Did you ever feel like taking a toothbrush and giving your gums a hard scratch? If yes, then this might be a case of itchy gums. Some find it strange, but the reality is itchy gums are common these days.
Gums are soft tissue that surrounds your mouth and provides a seal around your teeth. Itchy gums get quite challenging to treat unless you aren’t familiar with its cause.
If you’ve ever experienced gum itchiness, then you already know how disgusting and annoying they can be. Moreover, itchy sensation in your gums can have several underlying causes.
And today, this article will take you through all the prevalent (or common causes) which can lead to itchy gums. Not only causes but also you will get to know how you can relieve itchy gums. Excited! Time to dive in.
Itchy Gums Potential Causes
Let’s begin with the most challenging task you need to face during itchy gums i.e. finding its root cause. Don’t worry after completing this article you are not going to take more than 5 minutes to figure it out.
Common causes of itchy gums include gum injuries, plaque accumulation over the gum line, hormonal changes, dryness of mouth, gingivitis, bruxism and poor dental hygiene.
Let’s get into each cause and how you can figure them out in your case separately.
1. Hormonal Changes
Itchy gums may arise from hormonal changes within your body. It especially applies to girls going through their monthly cycle (menstruation), pregnancy, or menopause.
These are the times when women’s or girls’ bodies undergo massive hormonal changes (like an increase in estrogen and progesterone level) in their body.
Not only itchy gums but these times may also come with oral pain, sensitivity and even bleedings for them.
Teeth grinding or bruxism often ends up giving you itchy gums. High-stress level, anxiety and poor lifestyle are some causes leading to bruxism.
Bruxing causes receding gums and often leads to the wearing of enamel which in turn causes your gums to itch.
3. Plaque Accumulation Over Gums
Accumulation of plaque – a thin film of bacteria mixed with food particles and mucus, can possibly cause your gums to itch. Not only gums, but plaque accumulation is often a widespread cause for itchy teeth.
The plaque is quite sticky to get rid of. Some symptoms to help you identify plaque accumulation on your gums include- blood from the mouth while brushing, sensitive gums, and of course gum itchiness.
4. Injuries Involving Gum
Did you recently meet with an accident involving your mouth (more precisely gums)? If yes, then it can be a serious concern not only for you but for your gums too!
Gum injuries quite often lead to itchy gums. Mostly itchiness, in this case, occurs due to physical damage to nerves present in the gums.
5. Dry Mouth
It might look uncanny to you, seeing dry mouth in the list of itchy gum causes. But, it is a cause known to dentist professionals for the same.
Dry mouth is commonly a result of diabetes, strokes, Alzheimer’s, or yeast infection in your mouth. These conditions lead to a reduction in saliva secretion within your mouth. And excessive dry gums often itch.
The first stage of gum disease, gingivitis is also a common provider of itchy gums. Gingivitis has a direct link with plaque build-up over your gums.
Many people confuse gingivitis as bleeding and swelling in gums, but it does cause gum itching.
7. Poor Dental Hygiene
A healthy oral and dental hygiene keeps many problems miles away. The statement works for itchy gums too.
Poor dental hygiene may lead to regular plaque build-up, which is certainly not good for your gums. And you already know what plaque build-up does to your gums. Gum itching due to plaque buildup isn’t something you are unfamiliar with.
Apart from the above-mentioned causes, there are few more things that accelerate gum itchiness, these include:
- Allergic infection in gums due to eating certain foods or using products that trigger an allergy. It can also become severe, sometimes even causing inflammation of gums along with itching.
- In some cases using an e-cigarette or vape can also cause gum irritation and itchiness.
Relief From Itchy Gums
Now that you have figured out what’s causing your gums to itch, it will become certainly easy for you to get relief from it.
Let’s look at some relief methods and home remedies for treating your itchy gums. Don’t worry they are quite less complicated to treat than you thought of!
Some common methods for relieving itchy gums include – sucking ice cubes, saltwater, using an antibacterial mouthwash, taking a dose of antihistamine to maintain healthy dental hygiene.
Let’s know each of the above mentioned itchy gum treatment methods separately.
1. Salt Water
Rinsing your mouth with saltwater gives good relief from itchiness and irritation in your gums.
Just take a glass of lukewarm water (8 ounces to be precise) and mix 1 tablespoon of salt in it. Just rinse your mouth for 5-10 minutes with it. Saltwater helps in the removal of plaque and accumulated bacteria over your gums. Thus helping you relieve itchiness.
2. Sucking On Ice Cubes
Sucking on ice cubes provides a chilling effect on your gums. This in turns soothes your gum tissues and hence stops the itchiness.
Plus factor of this home remedy is, not only it stops the gum itching but also helps your mouth to hydrate. Thus, also saving you from the condition of dry mouth to some extent.
3. Antibacterial Mouthwash
The National Library of Medicine says your mouth contains millions of bacteria. Some are good while some of them harm you. Certain bad bacterias are also a reason behind itchy gums.
Using a good antibacterial mouthwash can help prevent excessive growth of bad bacterias over gums. Thus, head over for a mouthwash if itchy gums are irritating you still.
If you feel there’s some kind of allergy giving itchiness in your gums, then going for antihistamine over-the-counter is a good choice.
Antihistamines have always been known for their ability to treat allergy and their symptoms. Diphenhydramine is one among many antihistamines known for oral allergy and itchiness treatment.
5. Maintaining a clean dental hygiene
You already got to know that, healthy oral hygiene can keep many dental issues away from you. So, if you feel your gums are itchy since you failed to maintain clean oral hygiene, then cleaning your mouth should be your first priority.
Some good practices for maintaining clean dental hygiene include: regularly flossing your teeth, brushing at least for 3 minutes at a time, and having regular mouthwash.
Following the above remedies for itchy gums are more than enough to stop them. But these won’t be effective in the long run if you fail to take preventive measures. So let’s have an eye over prevention tips.
How to prevent Itchy Gums?
The old saying, PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE is still that effective that it used to be in the past. So YES, you can prevent itchy gums too from occurring.
All you need to do is follow some basic oral habits in your day to day life. Here’s what I mean:
- Don’t get addicted to foods that are too spicy and acidic: If itchy gum troubles you more often then limit foods and drinks which are too acidic or spicy. These foods trigger inflammation making them worse.
Instead, you may go for some cool foods like cream or yoghurt which helps your mouth to maintain a cool environment.
- Live a Stress-free life: Pieces of evidence supports the fact that the level of psychological stress does contribute to gum disease (or periodontal disease), which is an ultimate cause of gum itchiness.
So, try living a stress-free life. If you are overburdened with your hectic lifestyle, take out some time for yourself. Practice stress-reduction techniques like yoga or tai chi.
- Brush At least Twice a Day: For clean dental hygiene one must brush his/her teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, ADA says.
Also flossing your mouth once a day should be given prime importance.
- Limiting Smoking and Alcoholism: If you are a high smoker and consume too much alcohol, then you need to limit it.
Smoking also leaves a stain over your teeth and causes delayed healing. Even research suggests, smoking gives rise to gum disease and giving itchy gums as a symptom.
Itchy gums aren’t that tough to treat. Once you get to know the exact cause, you can take the necessary steps to treat them.
Some of you might ask when to see a doctor in this case? If your itchy gums persist for more than 3 days even if you took the remedial action, then it becomes necessary for you to look for a dentist nearby.
That’s all for this article. Now I would love to turn to you! Which step do you think works to treat itchy gums in your case? Which prevention method did you find most difficult to follow?
Let us know what you think about itchy gums by commenting down below.
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Adarsh Kumar is the guy behind the growing Health & Wellness blog Health On Planet. He is a 5 years old veteran of the Health Industry with previous expertise as a health writer for several other blogs. He provides his readers with articles about surgery, nutrition, and wellness related aspects.