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Gum Issues: 3 Causes Of Itchy, Swollen And Irritated Gums

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While they are not usually painful, itchy, swollen and irritated gums are a nuisance. Since the symptoms are often mild, most people ignore their symptoms and hope they will go away on their own. Unfortunately, itchy and swollen gums can be a sign of serious gum disease that will only get worse without treatment. Itchy gums also have other causes. Therefore, it's vital that you find out the cause of your condition as soon as possible. Once you know what's causing your problem, you can treat it and put all the irritation behind you. Following are three causes of itchy and irritated gums. 

Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease

The most common causes of red, itchy gums is gingivitis and periodontal disease, inflammatory conditions that affects the gums and, in serious cases, the underlying bone structure. Most periodontal disease starts out as gingivitis first. Identified by red, itchy and bleeding gums, gingivitis can also cause gum infections or abscesses. A more serious condition, periodontal disease, causes receding gum lines, tooth decay, bone loss and tooth loss. 

Teeth Grinding and Injury

Bruxism, a condition that leads to teeth grinding and jaw clenching, can cause injury to the teeth and surrounding soft tissues. Once injured, gums may appear red and swollen. They may also feel itchy, especially if infection sets in after the injury. Injuries sustained to the mouth can also cause gums to itch during the healing process. Again, infected gums commonly itch. So, you should have any soft tissue injuries inspected by your family doctor or dentist. If infection is allowed to linger, it can lead to the formation of a painful abscess. 

Allergic Reaction and Infection

If you ingest something you're allergic to, such as medication or food items, you may experience itching everywhere, including your gums. You should consider allergic reaction if your symptoms occur suddenly and in the absence of poor oral hygiene and gum disease. Gum disease does not cause a sudden onset of symptoms. It is slow and gradual, occurring over the period of months or years. A sudden onset of symptoms may also be caused by localized oral infections. Allergic reactions and infections can also cause burning and swelling in the mouth.

There are many causes of red, itchy and irritated gums. If you begin to have issues with your gums, be sure to talk to your dentist (Denise McGrade DDS or another one) about it. When you understand what is causing your condition, you can take the necessary steps to treat it.