Since wisdom teeth come in during late adolescence, pericoronitis is a form of gum disease that usually affects those between the ages of twenty and forty. Often the wisdom teeth are not able to come out fully due to a lack of room in the mouth, leading to a partially erupted tooth. The partial tooth eruption then leads to inflammation and infection of the soft tissue which surrounds it.
Symptoms often vary from one individual to the next and can occur chronically or acutely. Those suffering from chronic or reoccurring pericoronitis may experience:
- Mild discomfort around the affected area
- Dull toothache
- Bad breath
- A foul taste in the mouth
Symptoms last for 1 to 2 days but continuously reappear without proper treatment. Acute pericoronitis is usually caused by poor oral hygiene. This is relatively common since the wisdom teeth, located toward the back of the mouth, can be difficult to clean with manual brushing alone. Symptoms may include:
- Pus discharge from affected area
- Pain when swallowing
- Extensive pain making it difficult to sleep
- Swelling of the face
- Swollen lymph nodes under the chin
Acute pericoronitis symptoms usually last about three to four days.
The condition can be hard to treat due to the gum flap which has resulted from the partially erupted tooth. Often, the issue won’t go away completely until the tooth fully erupts from the gum line, or the tooth/soft tissue has been removed. For mild cases, a dentist may recommend the following treatments:
- Comprehensive cleaning
- Removing any food, debris, or residue trapped inside the gum flap
- Draining of the pus to reduce inflammation
- Rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash containing an antibacterial agent such as CPC (Cetyl-pyridinium chloride) or salt mixture
- Antibiotics to manage the infection
As with any form of gum disease, you should always follow a thorough oral care routine of brushing twice a day and flossing at least once. If your symptoms persist, see your dental professional right away. It is crucial to treat any sign of infection as soon as possible before it spreads to other areas of the mouth and jawline.
Discover MoreWisdom Teeth Pain: Symptoms, Causes, Remedies & Relief