Got Itchy Gums? Here’s What It Might Mean, and What to Do About It!
If you’ve recently started noticing that your gums feel itchy and irritated, you might be wondering what’s happening. Is this a serious issue? Should you see your dentist? What can cause itchy gums?
The team at Redmond Art of Dentistry is happy to go over the top four causes of itchy gums, what this condition might mean, and how you can treat your itchy gums to get relief!
1. You’ve Got Oral Allergies
Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS) is more common than you might think. If you notice itchy gums after eating a particular food, your mouth may be reacting with irritation, inflammation, and itchiness. This is especially common when eating certain types of fresh fruits, nuts, and vegetables.
Mangoes, for example, have an irritant called “urushiol” to which some people are very sensitive, so eating a mango could cause your mouth to feel itchy, or even cause redness in your mouth and lips.
This problem is usually not very serious. Mild cases of OAS can be treated by taking an antihistamine, or by avoiding the food that’s causing the issue.
2. You Have Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)
Proper saliva flow and production are critical for keeping your mouth healthy, washing away plaque, and ensuring proper digestion. If you have dry mouth (xerostomia), you may also find that your gums feel itchy and dry, because they are not getting proper lubrication.
Dry mouth can be caused by dehydration, as well as some types of pharmaceutical drugs. Tobacco use and systemic health issues like diabetes can also contribute to dry mouth. You should consult a doctor or dentist to understand why you have dry mouth. You can also take steps to improve saliva flow like staying properly hydrated throughout the day, and regularly chewing sugar-free gum.
3. You’re Going Through Hormonal Changes
This is common in women and girls who are going through major changes in their lives. Hormonal changes from puberty, menopause, pregnancy or even starting or stopping birth control can all cause itchy gums.
Typically, this side effect goes away as your hormones adjust and begin to self-regulate. But if this does not happen and you have itchy gums for a prolonged period of time, you should consult with your doctor.
4. You Have Plaque and Tartar Buildup on Your Teeth & May Have Gingivitis
The final and perhaps most common cause of itchy gums is plaque buildup on your gums and teeth. Plaque is full of bacteria that will attack your gums, resulting in inflammation and itchiness.
If you’re not brushing and flossing properly, this condition can continue to progress and become gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. Proper oral hygiene is essential for reversing and controlling gingivitis, and treatments from a dentist like Dr. Daniel Bickel can also help restore the health of your gums.
Know Why Your Gums Are Itchy – Care for Your Smile!
If you have itchy gums in Redmond and you think that you may have gingivitis or an issue like dry mouth (xerostomia), it is important to get help from a dentist right away. Dr. Daniel Bickel can examine your mouth and determine the root cause of your problem.
Then, he can recommend the appropriate next steps to treat your itchy gums and ensure that you don’t have to worry about this uncomfortable, inconvenient problem ever again. Schedule your appointment now at (425) 883-1331, or stop by our office at 16455 NE 85th Street, Suite #101, Redmond, WA 98052.