What causes your gums to be irritated and itchy?


Quick Answer

According to WebMD, itchy and irritated gums have many possible causes including poor brushing and flossing technique and gum disease. HowStuffWorks points out that food allergies can also cause irritation and itching of both the mouth and gums.

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What causes your gums to be irritated and itchy?
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Full Answer

Sometimes gums become irritated because of poor brushing and flossing technique, states WebMD. If this occurs, the person first needs to consider changing to a toothbrush with soft, blunted bristles. When she brushes her teeth, she needs to do so gently in a circular motion because a back-and-forth motion injures the gums. Sometimes vigorous flossing can cause gum problems as well. The floss needs to be carefully inserted, not forced, between the teeth.

HowStuffWorks explains that sometimes gums itch and swell because of food allergies. The body incorrectly identifies food or pollens associated with food as dangerous and sends out antibodies to attack. This can cause the mouth to itch, swell and tingle.

The American Academy of Periodontology states that gum itching and irritation can be caused by gum disease such as gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease characterized by swollen and bleeding gums. It is easily solved by brushing and flossing teeth regularly. If gingivitis is not treated, periodontitis can result, which is more serious. Not only are the gums irritated, but they also recede, and the bone breaks down, causing teeth to loosen and shift.

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