Have You Heard Of “Itchy” Teeth?

This frustrating problem can have a number of potential causes.

Hygienist VickiWe probably all know what a toothache feels like. It can range from a mild throbbing sensation to an excruciating pain that causes us to reach for the phone to make an emergency dental appointment to get it addressed ASAP.

Even a mild toothache is a fairly certain sign that something is wrong and hopefully few of us would choose to ignore it.

Pain isn’t the only sensation that we can feel with our teeth though. A less usual, but not uncommon one, is when our teeth start to itch.

This can be frustrating as we can’t really scratch our teeth like we can, say, our head if it itches. Itching teeth are not only be irritating but could also be an indication of a genuine dental problem that needs resolving. In today’s blog, our Cygnet Dental Practice team look at some of the potential reasons why our teeth might start to itch.

Structural damage

If any of the internal structures of a tooth have been damaged, this is likely to cause some sensation. While most of us would probably presume that this means a toothache, it can also lead to an itching sensation, at least initially. This may just be the start though and if left untreated, further discomfort in the form of a toothache may well follow not too long afterwards. For this reason, we recommend that you let one of our Wickford dentists take a look if you find that your teeth start to itch at all.

Foreign objects

An itch can start because our body detects a foreign object and tries to get rid of it. A small piece of food trapped beneath the gum line could be a cause of this, although this would probably only last for a day or so if you cleaned your teeth correctly. If you have a specific tooth that is itching, try to focus on both brushing and flossing around that area for a day or so. If that doesn’t stop the itch, it’s time to give us a call.

Gum disease

Many of our Wickford patients will have seen the TV adverts where a woman with healthy looking teeth spits blood into the sink after brushing her teeth. This is one of the most visually dramatic symptoms of gum disease, but it isn’t the only one. Sore and inflamed gums are also common and, in the early stages especially, this may start out as more of an ‘irritated’ feeling to the gums, akin to an itch.

Any gum infection is a potential threat to your oral health and should be taken seriously. As an itch probably indicates the very early stages of infection, it may be possible to reverse this with better cleaning, so please take a look at what you can do to clean your teeth better. Make sure that you brush for at least two minutes, angle the brush so that it can reach under the gum line and, if you don’t already, make sure to floss well between your teeth.

You should already have a six monthly appointment with our hygienist to have a scale and polish to remove tartar from your teeth and gums. If, after improving your own home oral care, the itch is still there, don’t leave it to develop further and contact us for advice and possibly an earlier hygienist appointment.

Post procedural effects

Any invasive dental procedure can have a ‘knock on’ effect on how that area of the mouth feels afterwards. Some, such as a large filling or extraction could lead to some soreness for a short time whilst the ‘wound’ heals. At some stage, this may well itch as well. If you remember, as a child, when you fell and grazed or cut your knee; once the initial ‘ouch factor’ had gone and a scab formed, can you remember the constant itching and the desire to scratch it just before the scab was ready to fall off? This is all a part of the normal healing process and should cause no undue concern. Any itching sensation in this situation is likely to last for just a few days. If the itching does continue for longer, or if you have any concerns at all, it is best not to ignore it and call us for an appointment so that we can check it for you, just to be on the safe side.

Remember, your teeth should not itch, throb, hurt or experience any other unusual sensation. Where they do, and especially if it lasts for a few days, it probably means that something is wrong. However minor you might think the sensation is, please don’t put off asking us to check it for you. We are always happy to make an appointment to examine you to diagnose, and where necessary, treat the problem. Where you are in pain, please make sure to ask us for an emergency appointment so that we can see you as soon as possible.

For both routine and emergency dental appointments at the Cygnet Dental Practice in Wickford, please call us on 01268 733038.