If your skin itches, you usually check for a bug bite, dry skin, or a rash, all of which can — for the most part — be easily identified and treated. But what does it mean when the roof of your mouth itches? It’s a stranger sensation than feeling an itch on your back or your scalp, and it can be distracting and unsettling. Plus, because the symptoms are occurring inside your mouth, it can be tougher to identify the cause or relieve the itch. If you have experienced an itchy roof of the mouth and have spent time using your tongue to try and “scratch” the itch, you know how frustrating it is. If this sounds familiar to you, there are a few things that could possibly be going on.
According to Healthline, one major way to help identify why the roof of your mouth is itching is to notice what other symptoms (if any) you are experiencing at the same time. For instance, you might also be dealing with burning, itching, or tingling sensations in other parts of your mouth like your tongue or throat, swelling of lips or tongue, watery eyes, sneezing, or dry cough. If these symptoms accompany the itchy roof of your mouth, it’s an indication you might be dealing with a mild allergic reaction. For instance, people with hay fever (seasonal allergies) often report itchy mouth along with more commonly known symptoms like sneezing when they step into an early spring pollen cloud.
Other causes of an itchy mouth
While the previous symptoms are common for a minor, non-life-threatening allergy, you should also be aware that an itching mouth and throat could be an early sign of anaphylaxis, which is a severe and dangerous allergic reaction (via Healthline). If you experience any of the following health symptoms along with the itching, please seek emergency medical care: swelling, hives, tightness in your throat, difficulty breathing, hoarseness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fainting, dizziness, or rapid heart rate.
There are also other, less dangerous causes for an itching mouth. If you are prone to canker sores or if you are positive for the herpes virus, you may also have cold sores, both of which can cause this type of itching in the mouth (via Web MD). It’s important to make the distinction between true itching and numbness/tingling. Numbness or tingling in the mouth can be an indication of a neurological issue. Migraine headaches, for instance, can cause this, as can nerve damage and the autoimmune disease Multiple Sclerosis. If you do not suffer from migraines, nerve damage, or MS and begin to feel sudden numbness and tingling in the mouth, please seek medical attention immediately, as this can also be an early warning sign of a stroke.
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