What is Pericoronitis and What can be Done about it?

What is Pericoronitis?

Wisdom teeth can come with a number of potential complications ranging from their position in the gums to decay and a number of other afflictions. One of the particular problems is pericoronitis, or inflammation of the gum tissue surrounding the tooth. This condition is prevalent with wisdom teeth, primarily due to how the tooth grows and erupts and usually affects young adults.


Wisdom teeth are known for growing in awkward positions within the gums. Some of these tooth positions are more troublesome than others. Those at most risk have wisdom teeth with an excessive amount of gum tissue overlying it. With a partial covering of gum tissue, the wisdom tooth is hard to clean and a buildup of decay-causing bacteria results, which, in turn, irritates and inflames the gums surrounding the tooth. If left to fester for too long, pericoronitis can spread to your cheeks as well as your neck.


Pericoronitis has the ability to produce several symptoms ranging from inflammation to foul taste. Here are the symptoms in more detail:
Red and inflamed gums surrounding the wisdom tooth
Swollen lymph nodes
Difficulty opening your mouth

If your swollen gums contain any leaking pus, it can also leave you with a foul taste in your mouth.

What can be Done about it?


The Wisdom Teeth Guys can diagnose pericoronitis during a dental exam of your wisdom tooth. Aside from obtaining dental images of the tooth, your dentist will also discuss any symptoms that you are experiencing, and will check your wisdom tooth for the presence of excessive gum tissue around the tooth.


There are a few ways that pericoronitis can be treated, all depending on your symptoms and the severity of the condition. If the inflammation has not spread beyond the area of the tooth, you can treat it at home by ensuring that food or debris has not become trapped under the tissue, and then rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water solution.

However, if inflammation and pain have spread to your jaw or cheek, call your dentist right away for an exam. Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to heal the infection as well as pain medication for your comfort during this time.

On the other hand, if the pericoronitis infection is severe, your dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon for treatment.


Preventing pericoronitis is simple. See your dentist regularly for checkups, brush your teeth twice daily for two minutes each time, and floss once daily. Regular dental cleanings can also prevent pericoronitis from occurring by removing any trapped debris before it becomes problematic. As for other wisdom teeth, your dentist may choose to either monitor the teeth as they erupt, or remove them before eruption occurs to eliminate the risk of pericoronitis recurring.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of pericoronitis associated with your wisdom teeth, give The Wisdom Teeth Guys a call today to schedule an exam. With prompt care, pericoronitis can be easily treated and there are measures that you can take to prevent it from recurring in the future. Your dentist can advise you on all of your wisdom tooth needs and any pericoronitis treatment options that are available to you.

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