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Pericoronitis: What you should know

It is called pericoronitis when the wisdom teeth do not have enough room to erupt through the gums and become visible. This can cause inflammation and infection of the soft tissue surrounding wisdom teeth if they are only partially able to emerge from beneath the gum line.

Gum flaps may occur if wisdom teeth only partially erupt during the eruption process. There are regions around these flaps where food can become trapped and bacteria can grow, resulting in an infection.

Things to take note of:

  • Wisdom teeth usually emerge throughout late adolescence or early adulthood.
  • Pericoronitis can manifest itself as either a short-term (acute) or a long-term condition (chronic).
  • Pericoronitis is most commonly found in adults over the age of 20 and under the age of 40.

Symptoms of pericoronitis

Pericoronitis is a condition in which the wisdom teeth do not fully emerge from the gums. It has the potential to cause pain.

It is possible that the signs will differ from person to person based on the extent of the condition.

Chronic symptoms include the following:

  • dull aching pain
  • mild discomfort
  • an unpleasant taste in one’s mouth;
  • swollen gum in the affected area

Chronic symptoms are sometimes only present for 1 to 2 days at a time, but often reoccur over a period of months.

Acute symptoms are those theat last for 3 to 4 days and include the following:

  • extreme discomfort that might result in sleep deprivation
  • swelling on the side of the face that is affected
  • discharge of pus.
  • pain when swallowing.
  • swollen lymph nodes under the chi
  • fever

Causes of pericoronitis

Pericoronitis is most typically found in adults in their 20s, with approximately 81 percent of those affected being between the ages of 20 and 29 years old.

Pericoronitis affects both males and women in almost similar proportions.

There are also other likely reasons and conditions that are connected with pericoronitis, including the following:

  • Acute pericoronitis is more usually caused by inadequate oral hygiene.
  • pregnancy
  • Stress
  • Upper respiratory tract infection is a viral or bacterial infection that affects the nose, sinuses, and throat. It is caused by viruses — most commonly a cold — or bacteria.

Diagnosing pericoronitis

pericoronitis X-ray

Pericoronitis is frequently discovered by dentists during a clinical evaluation. By examining the wisdom teeth and looking for signs and symptoms of pericoronitis, the dentist will be able to determine the severity of this problem.

The dentist will examine the gums to determine if they are inflamed, red, swollen, or if they are draining pus. Also looked for will be a gum flap in the affected area, if one can be found there.

In addition, the dentist may recommend an X-ray to check the position of the wisdom teeth and to rule out other probable causes of the pain, such as dental decay, during the procedure.

If a doctor determines that a patient has pericoronitis, he or she will recommend the patient to a dentist for further treatment.

Treatment option

A treatment plan for pericoronitis will be developed by the dentist after the condition has been diagnosed. The plan will be tailored to the individual’s needs.

In addition, if there is an open gum flap, the problem will not be resolved completely until the tooth has fully erupted or until the tooth or tissue has been removed.

If the patient is experiencing symptoms that are restricted to the area around the tooth, the dentist may recommend one of the following treatment options:

  • cleaning the area to a high standard
  • eliminating any food trash from the area
  • draining any pus.

If there is an infection, the dentist will prescribe antibiotics, and the patient can also take other medications to manage the discomfort and minimise swelling while the infection is healing. Before using any over-the-counter drugs or mouth rinses, it is recommended that you consult with your dentist.

In many circumstances, the dentist may propose that the tooth be extracted, particularly if the disease has recurred previously.

It is critical that symptoms of pericoronitis are addressed as soon as possible in order to prevent the infection from spreading and to reduce the likelihood of problems developing.

Anyone who is suffering symptoms of pericoronitis should schedule an appointment with their dentist as soon as they can. Those who are aware that their wisdom teeth are coming through but are not experiencing any symptoms of pericoronitis should nonetheless notify their dentist so that they can keep track of the progress.

Home remedies

Some home remedies for pericoronitis can be used to ease and treat the symptoms of a small case of the condition.

A warm saltwater rinse, as well as a thorough cleaning of the affected area with a toothbrush to remove plaque and food debris, can also be beneficial.

The patient should contact with a dentist if they do not notice any improvement after 5 days of treatment.

A person having severe symptoms should avoid using home remedies, according to medical professionals.

Complications which might occur

It is possible to develop complications as a result of pericoronitis. If the symptoms are not addressed as soon as they appear, complications are more likely to occur.

An infection that starts in one location and spreads to another can cause swelling and pain in other areas of the head and neck.

Additionally, trismus, a condition in which a person finds it difficult to open their jaw or bite down, can cause complications.

Pericoronitis problems can be life-threatening in certain situations, and in rare cases, they can be fatal. Ludwig’s angina, which is an infection that spreads under the jaw and tongue if left untreated, can result from untreated pericoronitis. Another complication of this illness is that it might lead to other deep infections in the head, neck, or throat.

A possibility exists that the infection will move into the bloodstream, resulting in the development of sepsis, which is potentially life-threatening.

preventive tips

Brushing of teeth
In order to avoid the development of pericoronitis, it is important to maintain appropriate dental hygiene.

Individuals can take a number of steps to try and lessen the likelihood of having pericoronitis, including the following:

  • Taking pre-emptive steps: It is recommended that people consult with their dentist anytime they have any worries about acquiring pericoronitis.
  • Maintaining good dental hygiene: Extra brushing and flossing around the afflicted tooth to eliminate food particles and bacteria will be beneficial.
  • Visits to the dentist on a regular basis: When you have regular dental checkups, your dentist will be able to recognise any signs or problems related with pericoronitis, improving the likelihood of treating them early.


Pericoronitis, in the majority of cases, has no long-term consequences. The presence of pericoronitis in that area will be eliminated if the wisdom tooth is fully erupted or extracted.

If a tooth is removed, a patient can normally anticipate to make a full recovery within 2 weeks of having the tooth extracted. During healing, a person might anticipate to go through the following:

  • jaw stiffness
  • a mildly bad taste in the mouth
  • swelling
  • pain
  • tingling or numbness of the mouth and face (less common)

It is critical that you follow all aftercare guidelines. If a person is experiencing strong or throbbing pain, fever, or bleeding, they should call their dentist or oral surgeon immediately.

If you have pericoronitis, the most essential thing you can do is make sure you get the best therapy so that this painful illness can be resolved as soon as possible.



Chukwuebuka Martins

Chukwuebuka Martins is a writer, researcher, and health enthusiast who specializes in human physiology. He takes great pleasure in penning informative articles on many aspects of physical wellness, which he then thoroughly enjoys sharing to the general public.