Have your gums been driving you crazy recently due to an intense itchy sensation? Then you are probably having difficulty concentrating or sleeping. Remember though that your gums are extremely sensitive, so before you give in to that urge to scratch, you should do a little detective work to figure out the cause.

You May be Allergic to Your Dental Work

If you have recently had one of your teeth capped with a stainless steel crown, this could be the cause for the itchiness. According to the CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention), between 10 and 20 percent of people are allergic to nickel, and stainless steel crowns contain nickel as well as chromium and iron.

The only remedy for this is to ask your dentist to replace your stainless steel crown with a porcelain, gold or zirconium crown.

It Could be a Food or Medication Allergy

The itchiness could be due to an allergy to food or medicine. If your body is reacting negatively to recently prescribed medicine, then a common symptom is itchy gums.

When your body encounters an allergen, it releases white blood cells to combat the allergen, and these white blood cells often accumulate on your gums, causing them to itch. Your body may also be releasing histamines in response to the presence of an allergen, and histamines are known to cause itching.

Whether you have a food allergy or you are reacting to a medication, you should consult with your doctor. They will be able to prescribe another medicine or perform a scratch test to determine the source of your allergy.

You Could have Gingivitis

Gum disease, which is caused by bacteria, can cause gums to become red and inflamed. Your gums may also bleed and itch, especially after brushing or flossing.

To combat gingivitis, brush your teeth with soft strokes using a soft bristled brush. Also, use an antibacterial mouthwash each morning and evening. Most importantly, book an appointment with your dentist so they can examine your gums and teeth and prescribe some antibiotics if necessary. 

The Itching Could be Caused by Bruxism

Bruxism (nocturnal grinding) also causes gums to itch. Due to the immense pressure exerted on teeth, the gums can become irritated and may, in some cases, recede and even itch in response to the constant pressure. This may become worse during bouts of stress, which is known to make bruxism worse.

You likely suffer from bruxism if your teeth are unusually worn and you often wake up with jaw ache or a headache. In this case, you should book an appointment with your dentist to check the status of your oral health and determine a course of treatment. Your dentist may advise you to wear a mouthguard at night in order to protect your teeth and reduce the symptoms associated with bruxism.

Itchy gums are a sign that something isn't quite right with your oral health. Don't ignore the signs. Book an appointment with your doctor or dentist so you can determine the cause and do something about it before the symptoms worsen.