If your child complains of itchy gums or you can see that his or her gums are irritated, swollen or inflamed, below are a few reasons why this may be occurring,

Allergic Reaction

An itchy sensation in your gums is generally a sign of a mild allergic reaction. Due to your body’s nonspecific immune response to some allergens, itchy gums can arise from seasonal, pet, medication, food or contact allergies. Although oral contact with an allergen is not necessary, eating raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, spices, and legumes is a common cause. To prevent or reduce the severity of itchy gums, avoid potential allergens, use antihistamines and cook raw foods before eating them.


Because the body’s ability to heal can be compromised by prediabetes, gum inflammation, involving red, swollen, tender and/or bleeding gums, may develop. If your child’s gums are itchy, tender, red and/or swollen this could be a sign of prediabetes.  Prediabetes occurs when the body’s cells no longer respond correctly to insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar. With prediabetes, blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to warrant a diagnosis of diabetes. If you think this might be your child’s issue, your pediatrician or primary care physician can make a proper diagnosis by checking blood glucose levels.

Erupting Baby Teeth

A general rule of thumb is that for every 6 months of life, approximately 4 teeth will erupt. Gums are itchy and/or swollen when teeth start growing. So, it’s likely that between 6 months and 3 years of age, your child will experience tender, itchy gums during the eruption process.

Gingivitis or Accumulation of Debris on Teeth

While it’s not very common for kiddos to have a serious form of gum disease, it is common for them to develop a mild form of gingivitis. Gingivitis is caused by bacteria and food debris that build up on teeth to form a sticky film. As the film (called plaque) hardens, it forms tartar. This results in the gums becoming swollen and red and possibly feeling itchy to your child.

The American Academy of Periodontology explains that teenagers can begin to develop issues with their gums during puberty. The rise in progesterone and possibly estrogen leads to an increase in blood flow to the gums, making them more sensitive.

If your child develops a mild form of gingivitis, it can be treated through dental cleanings coupled with good oral hygiene. But a gum disease treatment for kids might be necessary if the condition worsens. This could include an oral rinse, deep cleaning, antibiotics or other medications. In more advanced stages of gingivitis, surgery might be necessary.

If your child is experiencing itchy gums, call Drs. James and Samuel Owens office today 918.455.7700. We can help determine the cause and provide a solution to relieve the itch.