Dental health is an important part of maintaining your body and keeping it always healthy. Dental health does not just include your teeth but has other parts like gums. Gums are the sensitive and delicate tissue that protect your teeth, roots, and nerves. They also require proper care and attention. Gums can sometimes develop some chronic dental conditions that should be left untreated. There are many factors as to why the gums can start itching. They are the main protection and seal for your teeth. Healthy gums are important for the protective shield around the teeth and itching is usually a sign that there is a bacteria buildup between the teeth and gums. Good dental hygiene and some better lifestyle choices can prevent most problems.
Itchy gums has several causes and can be an indication of various conditions. The very common problems can be gum injuries, allergic reactions, hormonal changes, among others. In order to stop the itching, it is important to know about the underlying cause or condition. In rare cases, itching can be a sign of a severe condition. Gums that bleed slightly for a short period of time is a common problem and can even happen due to too much or incorrect flossing. But, regular bleeding should be reported to your dentist to have look. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Suman Yadav (M.D.S) Dentist Maxillofacial Oral & Dental Surgeon, Center For Dental Care, Vaishali, about the causes, treatment and prevention of itchy gums.
What causes itchy gums?
The most common cause of itchy gums is a plaque buildup on the teeth and gums. it is important to know about the reason behind itchy gums, in order to find the right treatment. If you yourself are not sure about the exact cause, then talk to your dentist about it. Try to rule out some causes until you find the one that explains why your gums itch. According to Dr. Suman, here are the main causes of itchy gums:
1. Gum injuries
Using hard bristles can cause gum injuries which can lead them to be itchy. Not just injuries, certain behaviors like grinding our teeth can also lead to itchy gums. This usually happens when teeth are growing in new born or kids who loose their milk teeth and even adults when wisdom tooth starts showing.
2. Hormonal changes
Hormonal changes are also one of the main causes of itchy gums. Changes in your normal hormonal levels can also have negative effect on how your gums feel. Women who are going through pregnancy, puberty, menstruation and menopause might experience itchy gums more often. They might also have other oral symptoms such as pain, sensitivity, and bleeding in such cases. The teeth and gums are extremely sensitive to hormonal changes. Therefore, hormone changes can cause itchy gums and can even increase the risk for gum disease.
Plaque is the formation of yellowish layer on teeth due to submission of mucus and food which hardens over time. Growth of plaque can often lead to gum diseases, gum bleeding, sensitivity and itching of gums is an early symptom of plaque.
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease that causes swelling, redness, pain and easily bleeding in the gums. This is one of the most common causes of itchy gums. It can easily be treated with home remedies such as turmeric, coconut oil and saltwater rinse.
6. Dry mouth
A dry mouth can also be a common cause of itchy gums. If your body is naturally not producing enough saliva to keep your mouth moist, then it can leave your mouth very dry. Some medications and certain foods can prevent from this happrining. However, there are some medical conditions and foods that can even lead to dry mouth. You need to drink enough amount of water throughout the day. Other causes of itchy gums include allergic reactions, bruxism, poor dental hygiene, ill fitting dental devices.
Itchy gums treatment
As per Dr. Suman, here are the treatment methods and home remedies for itchy gums:
Itchy gums can also occur due to allergic reactions and an antihistamine can help in relieving the symptoms. Any kind of medication should only be taken if it has been prescribed by a doctor. This is specifically an anti allergy medicine that also helps with itching, watery eyes and runny nose.
2. Teeth guards
Wearing a teeth guard can also help in treating itchy gums. You can also prevent any further damage to your teeth by wearing a guard while you are sleeping. If teeth grinding is the cause behind the itchiness, then teeth guards can help in relieving.
3. Plaque scaling
Plaque scaling is another medical treatment for itchy gums. There is an electric tool that your dentist will use to remove the harmful plaque buildup from above and below your gum line. Plaque buildup sometimes is not possible to remove with brushing, hence you should visit the dentist for plaque scaling.
4. Root planning
Root planning can also help in treating itchy gums. Your dentist might use this procedure to remove severe calculus buildup. This procedure provides a new and fresh surface to your teeth and gums to reattach to a healthier tissue.
5. Salt water
Saltwater rinse is one of the best home remedies for itchy gums. Just mix one teaspoon of salt in a glass of lukewarm water. Then, gently swish the water in and around your mouth, and spit it out. The salted lukewarm water can effectively relieve itching and irritation in the gums.
6. Ice cubes
Sucking on an ice cube is also believed to treat many dental problems including itchy gums. It will give a cooling and relaxing sensation, alongwith itching relief. The ice cubes will play a role in hydrating you as well.
7. Lifestyle changes
You can also make a few lifestyle changes to treat itchy gums naturally. Quit the harmful habit and the itching will get better. You should restrict yourself from smoking and also avoid spicy, acidic and sugary foods that can irritate your gums.
Itchy gums prevention
As per Dr. Suman, here are some preventive measures for itchy gums:
1. Maintain regular dental hygiene
Maintaining regular dental hygiene is very important. Unhygienic conditions can make you ill even if your environment is clean. An unhygienic way of living is not suitable for your gums as well. We should keep our mouth clean as it can lead to problems like bad breath, ichy gums, tooth decay and pyrrohea. Itchy gums are usually symptoms of other gum diseases which can even cause them to bleed and swell. We should clean our gums by lightly massaging them with our fingers.
2. Brush and floss daily
Regular brushing and floss should be a part of your daily routine. It helps to keep your mouth clean. It is advised that people should brush once in the morning and then later at night after dinner. Flossing is also important for your teeth, food particles and fibres get stuck in between teeth. Floss helps you clean that part of the teeth, where bristles cannot reach.We should must be cautious while flossing so that we don't hurt our gums.
Also read: Home Remedies for Gingivitis
3. Try to rinse after every meal
We should ideally clean our mouth after every meal. Brushing is not advised but you can swish water in your mouth so that food particles that are stuck in your mouth are removed. While maintaining oral hygiene, you must take care that you should also keep your tongue clean. Tongue clean should be used at least once a day, because if we don't take proper care of it, it can lead to bad breath and sometimes even coated tongue (formation of a layer on tongue).
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