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What Is Pericoronitis?


Posted on 10/10/2022 by Dr. Michael Han
What Is Pericoronitis?Pericoronitis is the swelling of gum tissues surrounding the final set of molars. In most cases, pericoronitis occurs due to partially erupted wisdom teeth. When the wisdom teeth fail to erupt fully, you may have a flap of gum tissue. This creates an opening for food particles to get stuck and bacteria to build up around the teeth. If left unchecked, it can irritate the gums, leading to pericoronitis. In severe cases, the inflammation can extend to the neck, jaws, and cheeks. Fortunately, a dentist can help to treat this condition to eliminate discomfort and swelling. Some of the treatment options for pericoronitis include:

Dental Cleaning


In cases where pericoronitis has affected a small area, the dentist may suggest dental cleaning. This involves removing food particles or bacteria to ensure the gum flap is clean. Some antibiotics may also help to clear the infection. Remember to take the medication as the dentist prescribes to achieve the best result. In some cases, the professionals may also prescribe a specific mouthwash to kill harmful bacteria in your mouth.

Surgery


When the inflammation is severe or if the pericoronitis reoccur, the dentist may suggest a minor surgery. This involves removing the soft tissue covering the erupting wisdom teeth to eliminate the deep pockets that cause debris and bacteria build-up. Usually, this procedure is done under local anesthesia. Thus, you will not feel pain.

Extraction


If the dentist notices that the wisdom teeth aren't erupting normally, they may suggest extraction. Extraction involves making a small incision in the gums to access the tooth. In some cases, the dentist may recommend the removal of both upper and lower wisdom teeth to keep you from biting your gum with the upper wisdom tooth. The dentist can also recommend extraction if the wisdom tooth grows at an angle that causes overcrowding. Contact us for more information about pericoronitis.

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