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Pericoronitis: What Is It?

Today we shall talk about pericoronitis, which happens more often than you think. Pericoronitis is linked to the wisdom teeth, specifically to one of the many things that can happen when it sprouts.

By the end of this article, you shall know just what this is, what happens, and how it is treated.


What is it?

Pericoronitis is when the gum tissue surrounding your wisdom tooth gets inflammated. This usually leads to a flap of gum tissue to overlap the tooth, which will be red and swollen.

This usually leads to either the flap or the tooth to be removed. Depending on which is your case and the available options, your dentist will recommend you what is best.

When this happens, food remains as well as plaque are prone to get caught underneath this flap of gum. Upon remaining there, it irritates the gum and is what leads to pericoronitis. In worse cases, the swelling and infection can develop beyond the jaw, affecting the cheeks and neck.


Symptoms of pericoronitis

If you have pericoronitis, you are most likely suffering from:

  • Red swollen gum in the back of your mouth
  • Xerostomia (bad breath).
  • A constant bad taste lingering your mouth.
  • Hard time opening your jaw, together with pain.
  • Difficulty chewing and biting due pain.


What are the causes of pericoronitis?

It is difficult to say that certain habits will make you more prone to develop pericoronitis. But from what we have, we can say the following:

  • Pericoronitis is most likely to appear during the age of 20 to 29.
  • Wisdom teeth that have not come up correctly.
  • Poor oral habits.
  • An excess of gum tissue.


How is it diagnosed?

There is nothing too big about it. First the dentist will check how your wisdom teeth are developing. There are plenty of ways these molars can come out the way it is not intended, so it is always something to check. Then the dentist will usually use an X-ray to check if the tooth is indeed partially impacted.

Also, everything you tell your dentist will help in the diagnosis. Things like if there is swelling or an infection, discomfort, etcetera.


How is it treated?

This usually depends on the severity of the case. Usually, if it is not a threat, then some cleaning will do, or else there will be some action might be required:

  • If it hasn’t spread and is currently just affecting the tissue and the tooth, then using warm salt water to rinse your mouth should help. Of course you will have to pay really close attention to the flap of gum tissue, as it is the perfect spot for bacteria and food to get stuck on.
  • If there is swelling and pain on your tooth, jaw, cheek and neck, then it is time for a dental visit. It is most likely that the area is infected, so they will give treat you with antibiotics. Depending on the pain, you might be given pain relievers or medication.
  • If the pain and inflammation are absolutely bad, or if it is a recurrent problem, then there will be a small intervention in the area. Typically a small oral surgery where the gum flap or the wisdom tooth is removed will suffice.


Here in Los Algodones, Mexico we have very cheap procedures and treatments compared to those in States and Canada. If you are interested in very professional dentists in Los Algodones, feel free to contact us right here.

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