Itchy gums don't always mean you're developing gum disease. However, because itchy gums can be caused by a range of health conditions, it needs to be investigated and treated. From general health to oral health, let's investigate what causes itchy gums and how to find relief.
Reasons for Itchy Gums That Are Not Related to Oral Health
Chronic Dry Mouth
A lack of saliva can cause itchy gums. This may sound like an oral health concern, but there can be many causes:
- Medications for blood pressure, anxiety, pain and allergies
- Nerve damage
- Tobacco, drug and alcohol use
In some instances, chronic dry mouth is a condition all its own.
Seeking treatment or altering medications may ease the issue, but always see a doctor first. Otherwise, dry mouth may be treated with special mouthwashes or prescription medications.
Menopause, pregnancy, puberty and menstruation may cause itchy gums. If you're experiencing pain or tenderness in other parts of your body, this may be the reason. It may be temporary, so mouthwashes and medications may be your best relief.
Even if you've never experienced allergies, many adults develop allergies to food, the environment or other things later in life. This can result in sneezing, wheezing, trouble breathing and itchy gums. While these symptoms can be treated with over-the-counter anti-histamines, get an allergy test to be sure.
Gum Diseases and Oral Health Factors That Cause Itchy Gums
Cuts, sores and injuries on your gums may become infected and cause a tingling or itchy sensation. Treat the area with an anti-septic and see a dentist to make sure infection hasn't spread.
Bruxism, the scientific name for teeth grinding, may also cause gum injuries and itchiness. To fix the problem, you may need to see a dentist for a mouth-guard or other oral device.
If you have braces, dental implants, dentures or other kinds of dental devices, they need to fit well. If they don't, they can cut into your gums, cause infection and make them itch. Have an orthodontist or dentist treat the area and re-align your dental device.
Before gum disease sets in, a small amount of plaque can cause itchy gums. They may also bleed when you brush or floss. See a dentist for a professional tooth cleaning and ways to prevent future gum disease.
Gingivitis and Advanced Gum Disease
According to the Canadian Dental Association, about 70% of all Canadians develop gum disease at some point in their lives. The earliest stage is called gingivitis, a condition defined by inflamed, sensitive and even itchy gums. If left untreated, it may lead to periodontitis (advanced gum disease) and tooth loss. This may be prevented by routine professional dental cleaning.
No matter the reason for itchy gums, IQ Dental of North Vancouver, Canada, can help. From re-fitting dental devices to treating and preventing gum disease, we're here to make your mouth more comfortable and healthier. Contact us today to find relief from your itchy gums.