Itchy mouth is a common symptom many people experience which occurs from fungal or viral infections or allergies to food, latex, medications, pollen and more. Though some itchy mouth causes are mild, others can be life threatening. Read on to know more about them.
Symptoms of your itchy mouth
You may suffer from an extensive range of symptoms with an itchy mouth which include:
- dry cough
- tingling or burning sensation in your throat, tongue or mouth
- runny nose
- swollen tongue, lips, or throat
- crawling or itching sensation in one or both ear canals
- watery eyes
Though the symptoms of itchy mouth are mild and do not progress further to the head or mouth, they denote risky allergic reaction.
Causes of itchy mouth
There can be various reasons why your mouth might be itching. Some of these are the following:
If you suffer from itchy mouth, then you may be allergic to specific foods or pollens. It is quite possible that you get oral allergy syndrome or pollen-food syndrome. This condition begins during the teenage days and adult years. Oral allergy syndrome may take place when you eat foods that you have eaten earlier without any problem.
Oral allergy syndrome is common kind of food allergy and the symptoms include:
- tingling and itching in and around your throat, tongue and mouth
- itching ear canals
- strange taste in your mouth
- swelling of the tissues in and around the mouth
Though symptoms may be mild that usually do not last for more than 20 minutes, they may escalate into dangerous anaphylactic reaction which can be a medical emergency.
Oral allergy syndrome occurs when proteins in certain foods are quite similar to allergenic proteins found in certain kinds of pollen like birch, grasses, ragweed or mug wort. Some people having seasonal allergies might suffer from oral allergy syndrome after eating raw vegetables, uncooked fruits, spices or nuts. This is what you call cross-reactivity. In such cases, your immune system will detect similarities between the food proteins and pollen.
Cold sores, also called fever blisters, form around the outside part of your mouth, usually on or around the lips. They are caused due to herpes simplex virus which seems to be very contagious. Cold sores are generally small though several may cluster together. If you get cold sores, then you might even suffer from itchy mouth. Before blisters may appear, many people can get tingling and itching around their lips.
Cold sores start when small blisters filled with fluid form near your cheeks, nose and mouth. They can break and form a sore that remains on the mouth for almost two weeks.
Anaphylaxis is an allergic reaction and medical emergency which can be life-threatening without immediate care. An anaphylactic reaction may start with tingling, itching or swelling in the mouth when exposed to an allergen. Common causes of anaphylaxis include:
- venom of wasps, bees or other insects
People who suffer from allergies have mild or moderate symptoms only when they get exposed to allergen. Some of these include – watery eyes, runny nose, tingling, hives, mild itching and rashes. It is quite possible for mild allergic reaction to turn into anaphylaxis which happens when your body gets shock.
Symptoms of anaphylaxis can include:
- abdominal pain
- low blood pressure
- tight feeling in your throat
- rapid heart rate
- difficulty breathing
Some people who experience anaphylaxis can get cardiac arrest and even death.
If you have itchy mouth regularly, then you may suffer from yeast infection in your mouth. Also called oral thrush, this fungal infection occurs due to overgrowth of Candida albicans in your mouth tissues. Some patches of thrush may be there on the tongue, inside of cheeks, gums, tonsils or mouth roof.
Symptoms of oral thrush are:
- burning sensation
- dry mouth
- cracked skin on the outside part of mouth, often in the corners
- creamy-colored lesions that appear like cottage cheese
- muted sense of taste
How to treat your itchy mouth
The treatment for itchy mouth depends on the following causes:
Mild allergic reactions
In the case of mild allergic reactions, the symptoms go away on their own within a few minutes by spitting out the food causing it, digesting problematic proteins or removing yourself from the allergens. Sometimes, you may take over-the-counter antihistamine to fight mild symptoms.
Allergic reactions and anaphylaxis
The allergic reactions can be treated with antihistamines medical attention and epinephrine, in some cases. People who have a past record of allergic reactions should carry an epinephrine auto-injector during emergency as this drug may prevent anaphylaxis.
Cold sores can be treated topically or with oral medication. The doctor may suggest antiviral injections to fight herpes simplex virus which causes sores. Certain medications for cold sores are:
- famciclovir (Famvir)
- penciclovir (Denavir)
- valacyclovir (Valtrex)
- acyclovir (Zovirax)
- Yeast infection
If you suffer from oral thrush, then the doctor may prescribe some antifungal treatments, based on your health condition and severity of the infection. These are available in pill form, antifungal mouthwash or lozenges.
How to prevent the problem of itchy mouth
You can prevent your mouth from itching by these ways:
- avoid allergens which include eating certain foods
- follow treatment recommendations of your doctor for cold sores and oral thrush
- peel fresh vegetables and fruits
- cook vegetables and fruits than eat them raw
- avoid taking certain medications
When you should visit a doctor
When you suffer from cold sore or oral thrush, it is necessary to book a GP appointment from Private Doctor in London. You should also visit a doctor when you have had an allergic reaction to foods or specific allergens that you may identify. For more information and to schedule an appointment, visit privatedoctor.london. Your doctor will prescribe epinephrine for use in severe cases and provide other recommendations for home treatment for mild reactions.
If you have the symptoms of allergic reaction but do not know what are causing them, then schedule an appointment with an allergist. He will be able to administer allergy testing by pinpointing your allergens so that you can prevent them in future.
Though itchy mouth may occur due to mild and easy-to-treat conditions, it might be a warning sign for unsafe allergic reactions in future. It is advised to see a doctor when you experience itchy mouth. With the help of thorough diagnosis and proper treatment, you will be prepared to self-treat or get emergency help when you require it.