What Causes Itchy Gums?

Of all the places you might feel a sudden urge to scratch, you'd think your gums wouldn't be one of them. However, dental experts say that itchy gums are not unheard of. While gum itchiness is not always cause for concern, in some cases, it can indicate the presence of certain health conditions (via TeethTalkGirl).

Some causes of itchy gums are relatively minor. These may include the development of an irritatingĀ canker sore or a scratch as your mouth heals, according to experts at TeethTalkGirl. Alternatively, some people may experience itchy gums as they undergo natural hormonal changes, such as during pregnancy or menopause. Or perhaps you're simply just going through growing pains. Experts say that, on occasion, as our wisdom teeth grow in, itchy gums can sometimes accompany this growth. Conversely, some people experience gum itchiness upon wisdom teeth removal.

However, more often than not, experts at Definitive Dental say that itchy gums are usually the product of poor oral hygiene. If we're not regularly brushing, flossing, or taking trips to the dentist for regular teeth cleanings, this can impact the health of our teeth and gums.

Health conditions related to itchy gums

If we're not maintaining proper oral hygiene, we may begin to experience a buildup of plaque, according to Healthline. Furthermore, the combination of food residue, mucus, and bacteria can further exacerbate plaque accumulation, causing itchy gums. In some instances, plaque buildup can further progress into gum disease, including gingivitis.

Alternatively, if you wear dentures or other dental devices that aren't properly fitted to your mouth, this too can cause your gums to itch (via Healthline). Food particles can get stuck in the space between the device and the surface of the gums, thereby facilitating bacterial growth. This can then lead to itchy gums, or worse, infection.

For some people, itchy gums may be a symptom of an allergic reaction to something you've eaten. In this event, experts at TeethTalkGirl say that individuals will likely feel itchy across multiple areas of their mouth, including the tongue, cheeks, gums, and more. Those with severe food allergies may be at risk for anaphylactic shock and require immediate medical attention.

Although bothersome, gum itchiness is most often temporary. As stated via Definitive Dental, "Temporary gum irritation happens to many adults for a variety of reasons. The good news is that, no matter what's causing your gum discomfort, it's probably something that can be addressed through better dental hygiene and proper professional support."