Why are my gums itchy?

Gums can itch for various reasons. But is it serious? What does it tell you? Should you worry if your gums always seem to be in need of scratching?

Gums protect and keep the teeth in place. If they feel itchy, this can be a sign of bacteria build-up between your teeth and gums. Itchy gums are preventable and treatable. Although in some cases, it could be an indication of a more serious dental problem.

Let’s start with the symptoms of itchy gums.


Every symptom can be a telltale sign what’s causing the itchy gums. Here are some symptoms to take note of:

  • Bleeding and itchy gums
  • Inflamed gums
  • Pain or swelling in the area
  • Itchiness reaching the roof of the mouth

What’s Causing Itchy Gums?

To determine the right treatment for itchy gums, you need to figure out its cause together with your dentist. Here are some of the possible causes of itchy gums.

Plaque buildup

Plaque is a mixture of bacteria and food debris. When it accumulates on the teeth, it can cause gum sensitivity, bleeding, and itchiness.


Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease and is triggered by plaque build-up.

Gum trauma or injuries

Physical injuries and behaviors can result in painful and itchy gums. Sustaining an injury while engaging in sports can trigger itchiness. Teeth grinding and using e-cigarettes can also make gums itch.


Allergic reaction to food, medicine, pets, and surroundings may also lead to itchy gums.


Itchy gums may also occur while you’re recovering from an oral surgery. If you feel that your gums start to get itchy, refrain from scratching it. Talk to your dentist on safe ways to soothe itchy gums.

Dry mouth

Medical conditions and medications can leave your mouth feeling dry. And one of the symptoms of a dry mouth is itchy gums.

Poor-fitting devices

If your oral appliance does not fit well, food debris can get trapped between it and your gums. Bacteria may spread, which can then lead to infection, sensitivity, and itchy gums.

Hormonal changes

Changes in your hormone levels can also affect your gums. Puberty, menstruation, menopause, and pregnancy may lead to the gums becoming itchy, sensitive, or tender.

Preventing Itchy Gums

The best way to prevent gums from becoming itchy is by keeping them clean. Good dental hygiene habits can help prevent plaque from building up and avoid a wide range of oral health issues. Quitting smoking is another way to prevent itchy gums as this habit increases the risk of gum diseases and slows down healing.

If you have been diagnosed with gingivitis, getting it treated early will help prevent the need for invasive treatments. Regular dental cleanings will also help your teeth stay free of plaque. Your dental hygienist removes plaque deposits using special tools, making the gums less prone to inflammation and bleeding.

We’re small enough to listen. We know enough to care.