Have you noticed your gums itching lately? If you’re experiencing itchy gums after flossing or itching gums between teeth, this one’s for you! To determine the best treatment solution for your gums, it’s important that we first identify the cause.
Here’s everything you need to know about diagnosing and treating itchy gums:
Why are my gums itchy?
There are a number of potential causes behind itchy gums, including insufficient oral hygiene, food allergies or seasonal allergies, and hormonal changes. Let’s explore the top three common causes.
Itchy gums from oral hygiene
Plaque buildup on teeth and at the gum line is one of the primary causes behind itchy gums. When bacteria remains on teeth, this leads to plaque formation. Dental plaque is a sticky substance that coats teeth and eventually hardens, often becoming impossible to remove without a professional dental cleaning.
As plaque hardens, it becomes tartar, which causes the gums to become irritated, inflamed and infected over time. This is when the first stage of gum disease (gingivitis) develops. One of the symptoms of early gum disease and tartar buildup is itchy gums.
Itchy gums from allergies
An allergic reaction known as oral allergy syndrome (OAS) could also be the cause behind itchy gums. This may be due to eating a certain food, like shellfish or nuts, or due to hay fever or other seasonal allergies.
Other symptoms that commonly accompany itchy gums from an allergic reaction include itchy throat and swelling in the face, mouth or tongue.
Itchy gums from hormonal changes
Itchy gums can be a sign of hormonal changes, especially in women. During puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause, women and girls may experience itchy gums.
Hormonal changes can unfortunately make women more susceptible to symptoms like itchy gums, as well as gum disease and gum infection. Committing to a thorough oral hygiene routine with regular cleanings is key to minimizing the risk.
What to do if your gums itch
The easiest way to achieve itchy gums relief is by scheduling an appointment with one of our experienced periodontists in New Port Richey or Tampa. We will assess your gums and overall health and discuss your symptoms to help identify the cause of itchy gums.
Potential treatments for itchy gums include:
- Scaling and root planing: If tartar buildup and/or gum disease is the cause behind itchy gums, a scaling and root planing treatment may be recommended to clean the gum line and tooth roots. During this treatment, your experienced periodontist will deep clean your gums to remove bacteria and restore health. This treatment is non-surgical and highly effective!
- Salt water solution: While you wait for an appointment with your periodontist (or primary care provider if hormone fluctuations or allergies are the suspected cause), you can create a salt water rinse as a home remedy for itchy gums. Mix one teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of water and gently swish the solution around your mouth for about a minute. You can repeat this a few times a day to help ease the discomfort!
- Improve oral hygiene: It’s a good idea to recommit to your oral hygiene routine regardless! Brushing, flossing and gargling mouthwash are easy home remedies for itchy gums. Commit to brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once at night. You can add an alcohol-free antibacterial mouthwash to top off your routine and kill any lingering bacteria that may be contributing to the itchiness.
- Allergy medication: First, check with your primary care provider before taking any medications. If you know that you have seasonal allergies, consider taking an antihistamine as directed to treat itchy gums and other allergy-related symptoms.
Still have questions about itchy gums?
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. We’re here to support you and your gums. There are a number of treatment options available to treat the source of itchy gums and we want to ensure that you have access to the most effective treatment route.
We believe that a healthy mouth is a healthy body. We’ll perform a thorough exam to diagnose your itchy gum condition and help you find relief!