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The term pericoronitis refers to inflamed and painful gums around a tooth. Typically, it affects a lower wisdom tooth that has become impacted. The condition is frequently ignored, and the consulting dentist rarely explains it. If not treated promptly, it can become a nuisance.
What happens in pericoronitis?
A fully erupted tooth does not develop pericoronitis. A flap of gum called an operculum covers a partially erupted tooth, such as an impacted wisdom tooth. The tooth is partially visible and partly hidden inside the operculum.
A tooth bud rests in a cavity called a follicle before the eruption. When a tooth is impacted, a direct link is established between the follicle and the mouth. As a result, food and debris easily enter the follicle, causing infection. If the infection spreads to the operculum, pericoronitis can occur, causing pain and swelling.
Factors that trigger pericoronitis:
- Poor oral hygiene.
- Hormonal changes, such as during pregnancy.
- Age: 20s.
- Infections of the throat.
- A dull ache in the affected jaw can become severe and acute at times.
- The operculum is inflamed and swollen.
- Chewing is a challenge.
- There is a headache and earache on the affected side.
- Bad breath and a mildly salty taste in the mouth.
- It could ooze pus if left untreated.
- Infection of the throat and swollen lymph nodes are possible side effects.
Pericoronitis is diagnosed as follows:
- It is visible during a routine dental examination.
- The patient complains of pain and discomfort.
- Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications are taken orally.
- Operculectomy is a minor surgical procedure that reshapes the operculum to prevent food from becoming trapped beneath it.
- Extraction entails removing the impacted tooth and reshaping the operculum to remove the causative factor.
Prevent pericoronitis at home with these DIY guidelines:
If you have an affected lower wisdom tooth, you won't be able to avoid pericoronitis. You can only delay it. You can do so in a variety of ways, including:
- Brush the area thoroughly.
- Food debris should not be allowed to accumulate.
- To remove all debris, use a water flosser.
- Rinse with a warm water solution containing a pinch of salt.
- Keep your fingers away from the affected area.
- Paracetamol and anti-inflammatory drugs are examples of medications.
Is it possible for pericoronitis to heal on its own?
Saltwater rinses and antibiotics can temporarily relieve it, but it has a high recurrence rate.
I'm sure many of you have already begun to rethink that dentist's appointment you've been putting off. Pericoronitis is a chronic condition that should be addressed as soon as possible to avoid further discomfort.
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