Pericoronitis is another of the many dental diseases today which is characterized by a swollen and seemingly infected gum tissue around molar teeth. Pericoronitis mostly occurs when the wisdom teeth start to form i.e. the third and last set of molar teeth that will mostly come out during late teenage years or early into adulthood.
Causes of Pericoronitis
This condition comes as a result of the wisdom teeth breaking through the gum, thus opening up a prime platform for bacteria and other mouth infections to enter into the broken gum and cause an infection. Food remnants or plaque (a soft bacterial coat that remains on your teeth after a meal) can also be trapped beneath the broken gum around the growing tooth. In case it is not flushed out and remains inside there, it is bound to cause a gum irritation which will eventually result to pericoronitis. In severe cases of Pericoronitis, the infection and swelling could spread to other parts mostly the neck, cheeks and the jaw.
Pericoronitis is diagnosed by a dentist who will study how your wisdom teeth are breaking out to find out whether there is a partial eruption of some sort. Your dentist could also take periodical X-rays to determine whether your wisdom teeth are properly aligned or not. Other symptoms that will also help diagnose the condition include an infection or swelling or the existence of a gum flap in the areas surrounding your wisdom teeth.
If the condition has only affected the tooth without spreading to other areas, you can easily treat it by rinsing and gaggling warm salt water. Flossing is also advisable to remove food remnants that could be trapped in the gum flap. On the flip side of the coin, if the cheek, jaw, and tooth are painful and swollen, immediate medical attention is recommended. Treatment includes the use of antibiotics, mostly penicillin among other pain killers such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin.
With that being said, treating this condition can prove to be a very tricky affair, if not for anything else, because the gum flap tissue will remain there until the whole wisdom tooth breaks out naturally, or until when the tooth or tissue will be removed. However, a good dentist will clean the affected area thoroughly using salty water in an effort to remove trapped food remnants and forming pus. Alternatively, the dentist could opt to remove the damaged tissue and in case of an underlying infection, you might be given some antibiotics.
Your doctor could also advocate for the extraction of the erupting tooth, or the one above it if it is the one affecting the gum underneath. If your doctor believes the tooth is well aligned to grow, it could be left untouched. If on the other hand he foresees an impending danger, or perhaps a recurrence of Pericoronitis, tooth extraction could be the only way out.
Pericoronitis condition that causes the abovementioned symptoms ought to be treated with the seriousness that it deserves as the infection can spread to unaffected parts of your mouth which if left untreated could result to surgery.