Itchy teeth may sound weird but is a common occurrence. It can be frustrating as well as little can you do to relieve this itching.
Are the teeth really itchy? What is causing it? Are the gums that are itchy and giving a similar sensation on the teeth?
These are the common question that might be coming to the mind of a person with itchy teeth.
What Causes Itchy Teeth?
There are several causes that can lead to itchy teeth.
Allergies can lead to sensitive tissue in the mouth that can get swollen and itchy.
When you eat something that your immune system does not like, an unpleasant condition called oral allergy syndrome or Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome (PFAS) develops.
The roof of the mouth in such case gets itchy and this may make your teeth feel itchy.
- Plaque Build-Up
Plaque build-up along the gum line makes the gum feel itchy and it may feel as if the teeth are itchy too.
- Gum Disease
Gum disease can make the teeth feel sensitive and itchy.
Bacterial inflammation of the gums, known as gingivitis if not treated can lead to periodontitis.
Gum disease may not show any symptoms but can lead to serious problems including damage to teeth and bones and even tooth loss.
- Medical Procedures Side Effects
Sometimes after a dental procedure as the body’s reaction to any trauma or injury, there is an itchy feeling. This can make the body perceive that the tooth or gum has been injured, giving an itchy feeling as it heals.
- Tooth Structural Damage
Itchy teeth can also be due to an injury or being hit on the mouth with a ball or a car collision.
The itchy tooth after an injury could be due to damage to the root, nerve, or pulp.
- Teeth Clenching or Grinding
Some people clench or grind their teeth at night while sleeping. They are likely to have itchy teeth, but there is no evidence to support the claim.
- Other Remedies
Pain and itching can sometimes be due to bacterial and viral infections. It can also be due to fungal and parasitic pathogen.(1)
Home Remedies for Itchy Teeth
There are many remedies for managing itchy gums that may help with itchy teeth such as sucking ice cubes that can dull the itchy sensation.
Swishing saltwater in the mouth can also help relieve the itch.
Proper brushing and flossing techniques can help maintain dental hygiene and keep away the chances of infection and other diseases of gums.
Quitting smoking and tobacco also help in lessening the irritation in the mouth.
It is important to consult a doctor if there are signs of infection i.e. fever, swelling, or inflammation.
Treatment of Underlying Cause of Itchy Teeth
The treatment of itchy teeth depends on its underlying cause.
If the cause of itchiness caused due to allergy is because of some food item, avoiding it would help.
If the allergy is seasonal, antihistamines and short-term decongestants or nasal sprays would help.
If itchiness is a sign of plaque build-up, going to a dentist to get it removed before it hardens into a calculus is important.
Brushing teeth twice a day and flossing can also help get rid of plaque.
Those with early signs of gum disease need to brush and floss more often and carefully.
Antibacterial mouthwash or gel is also recommended to be used daily.
Treatment for Itchy Teeth Caused Due to Side Effects of Medical Procedures
If itchy teeth are due to any recent procedure, wait for some time till the mouth heals.
Eventually, it would heal. If it doesn’t, visit a dentist for further advice.
Tooth Structural Damage or Grinding
To those who clench and grind teeth, a mouth guard may be recommended by a dentist.
Dentists might also recommend procedures that better align the bite.
Studies show botulinum toxin injections help in reducing the grinding activity and also reduce the pain it induces.(3)
For those with any kind of infection, antibiotics and antifungal medications are recommended to reduce pain, swelling, itching.
If you have itchy teeth, do not ignore the symptoms. Visit a dentist for a proper diagnosis and treatment.