Is It Just A Feeling Or Do Your Teeth Really Feel Itchy?
Can a person really feel itchiness in their teeth? Sometimes, other sensations, such as pain in the teeth, can be perceived as itchiness. Or, it could be that the tissues near or within your teeth are itching and feel as if your teeth are itching as well. If someone is suffering from itchy gums, then one can feel as if their teeth are itchy too.
So, what can cause teeth to feel itchy? Let’s find out!
What Can Cause Teeth To Feel Itchy & How To Get Rid Of It?
Quite surprisingly, there are quite some causes that can result in itchy teeth or as if you feel that your teeth are itching. Read on below to know what they are:
- Build-Up of Plaque: When there is accumulation of plaque along the gums, then it can cause itchiness in the gums resulting in the feeling of itchy teeth.
- Allergies: Allergies is one of the reasons where the tissues in the mouth become itchy, swollen and sensitive leading to the feeling as if there is itchiness in your teeth too.(1) Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome (PFAS) or Oral allergy syndrome is a condition which produces an unpleasant condition when you are eating something which your immune system does not agree with.(2,3,4) This causes itchiness in the gum or roof of the mouth and one may feel as if their teeth are itchy too. Someone who doesn’t realize or are aware of what exactly they are allergic to can accidentally eat something only to find their gums, mouth and throat swell up, become itchy and inflamed.
- Gum Disease:(5,6,7)There is increase in the sensitivity of the teeth when one is suffering from gum disease and this can produce an itchy sensation in the teeth too. Gingivitis is a condition where there is gum inflammation from bacteria. If gingivitis is not treated on time, it can exacerbate to periodontitis which is a more serious condition. Gum disease can develop very subtly and initially one can notice bleeding from the gums due to inflammation. This can lead to more serious issues, such as damage to your bones and teeth and even losing your tooth/teeth.
- Tooth Damage: Any type of injury to the tooth, such as getting your mouth hit by a ball or being in a MVC, can produce a sensation that can be perceived as itching in the teeth. The injury to the tooth can also cause damage to the pulp, nerves and root and cause further pain and itching.
- Side Effect of Dental Procedures(8): Getting any type of dental procedure, such as root canal or filling for a cavity can be perceived by the body as some sort of injury to the gum or tooth and as it starts the healing process, itchiness can be felt in the gums or teeth as a reaction to any injury. Sometimes, one can also experience an allergic reaction to the materials used in the dental procedure, which can be felt as itching in the teeth and in the mouth.
- Teeth Grinding or Clenching(9): There are a few people who feel their teeth itch because they grind or clench their teeth during their sleep. This can be true; however, there is no concrete evidence support this theory.
- Other Infections: Some studies have shown that infection caused by viruses, bacteria or even fungi can cause a feeling of itching and pain in the teeth. One such infection is herpes zoster, which causes itching, tingling and pain in the nerves.(10) The herpes zoster virus can also cause tenderness and pain in the face and hence can be felt as if it is in the teeth.(11) This type of pain is termed as odontalgia.(12)
Prevention of Itchy Teeth
Proper dental hygiene, such as regular flossing and brushing your teeth twice a day, help a lot in maintaining the health of your oral cavity. Good dental hygiene also helps in preventing any diseases or infections that can lead to more serious damage to the teeth and gums.(13)
When to Seek Medical Consult for Itchy Teeth?
If there is any tenderness, pain or bleeding from the gums along with the feeling of itching, then it is important to consult your dentist immediately for diagnosis of the cause and proper treatment. Some of the other symptoms along with itchiness in the teeth for which you should seek medical consultation are: swelling, infection and fever.
Home Remedies for Itchy Teeth: How to Get Rid Of Itchy Teeth?(16, 17)
Home remedies that are used for relieving itchiness in the gums also help in relieving itchy teeth. One such popular home remedy is sucking on ice cubes. This home remedy can dull the sensation of itching and pain, if any. One can also try swishing salt water within the mouth for relief from itchy gums and teeth.
What is the Treatment for Itchy Teeth?
Treating for itchy depends on its underlying cause.
If plaque is causing the sensation of itchy teeth, then treatment consists of consulting your dentist to clean out your plaque build-up and to follow good dental hygiene afterwards. If the plaque is not cleaned, then it can become hard and form into calculus, which can cause gum disease and tooth decay.(18)
If allergies are causing the sensation of itchy teeth then treatment consists of avoiding the food items, which one is allergic to. In case of allergic rhinitis, the doctor can prescribe antihistamines for treatment along with the use of nasal spray or a decongestant.(19, 20)
If gum disease is causing the sensation of itchy teeth, then your dentist will advise you to follow a better dental hygiene where you need to floss and brush daily and carefully along with using antibacterial gel or mouthwash and other medicines if needed.(21)
If itchy teeth are a resultant feeling of a dental procedure, then treatment consists of continuing the course of antibiotics and waiting patiently as your mouth heals.
Gradually the sensation of itching in the teeth will subside; and if it persists, then your dentist will look into closely of what is causing the sensation of itchiness in the teeth to persist.
If tooth damage is causing the sensation of itchy teeth, then treatment consists of some elaborate dental work to treat the problem. You may need root canal followed by dental crown if needed.(22)
If some type of infection is causing itchy teeth, then the appropriate medicine, such as antifungal medication or antibiotics should be taken to alleviate the swelling, pain and itching felt in the gums or mouth.
If the cause of itchy teeth is teeth grinding or clenching, then one of the treatments can include wearing a mouth-guard at night. Reductive coronoplasty is a procedure for getting bite better aligned so the grinding of the teeth stops.(24) Another treatment option is getting botulinum toxin injections to reduce the teeth grinding and the pain it causes.(24,25)
Even if the itchy teeth is only your perception or a resulting feeling of something else, it is still important to not ignore it, as it can be a sign of something bigger, such as infection. Consult your dentist if you persistently feel itching in the teeth or gums for the correct diagnosis of the cause and the right treatment.