Pericoronitis, alternatively called operculated, is an inflammatory and swelling disorder affecting the soft tissue surrounding a partially erupted tooth. The eruption is the stage of dental development during which a tooth emerges from the gingiva or gum tissue. It typically occurs around the wisdom teeth, the final set of molars that most people acquire in early adulthood or late adolescence, and is more prevalent in lower molars than in upper molars. What causes Pericoronitis, what are the symptoms, and how is it treated?
Pericoronitis can occur when wisdom teeth erupt incompletely. An operculum is a soft tissue development that occurs above a partially erupted wisdom tooth. Bacteria can become entangled beneath the operculum. This creates a pathway for bacteria to infiltrate the area around the tooth, causing inflammation and swelling. Food particles, germs, or plaque, a bacterial coating that forms on teeth after meals, may also become trapped behind the gingiva, the gum membrane that surrounds the tooth. If it remains there for an extended period, it might irritate the gums and cause pericoronitis.
As shown here, pericoronitis symptoms differ depending on whether the ailment is mild or severe. Painful, swelling gum tissue near the impacted tooth is a mild symptom of pericoronitis. It may be difficult to bite down in that place without causing damage to the swelling tissue. You can also experience an unpleasant odor or taste in your mouth, as well as a pus discharge. Swelling in that area of the face, enlarged lymph nodes, and jaw spasms are more serious signs. The presence of severe symptoms may suggest that the swelling has extended to the neck and throat, which could restrict normal breathing. This should be treated as a medical emergency since it could impair the capacity to swallow or breathe, potentially deadly. Those who are experiencing severe signs of pericoronitis should seek medical attention promptly from a dentist or other healthcare specialist.
Dentists frequently diagnose Pericoronitis during a clinical examination. The dentist will diagnose the problem by inspecting the wisdom teeth and looking for signs and symptoms of pericoronitis. If the gums appear inflamed, red, swelling, or oozing pus, the dentist will examine them. They’ll also check to determine if the area in question has a gum flap. The dentist may take an X-ray to check the position of the wisdom teeth and rule out other probable reasons for pain, such as dental rot. If pericoronitis is diagnosed, the patient will be referred to a dentist for further intervention.
Your dentist may decide to help you manage the symptoms without removing the flap or the tooth if the tooth is likely to erupt on its own fully. To prevent plaque and food particles from building up around your tooth, your dentist will clean the gum tissue around it. During this procedure, they may administer a local anesthetic to alleviate pain. After that, they will give you an oral antibiotic treatment to help you get rid of the illness. They will also prescribe an antibiotic mouth rinse to help clear the infected area.
Occasionally, pericoronitis occurs near an emerging tooth, which will erupt properly. In that situation, your dentist will examine the area to ensure it remains clean and free of infections until the tooth integrates. If your symptoms worsen, you may also require a minor oral operation to remove the gum flap. If the wisdom teeth do not appear to come naturally, the dentist may propose that they be extracted. If your dentist determines that the molar or flap should be extracted, they may direct you to a maxillofacial surgeon. In some situations, the flap regenerates, necessitating a second surgery. Typically, extraction of the tooth resolves the issue. However, there are circumstances when it is advantageous to preserve the tooth if feasible. Occasionally, the dentist will extract both upper and lower wisdom teeth to prevent the higher tooth from grinding into the lower gum and spreading infection. See https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/pericoronitis for more information.
Post-operative for pericoronitis
A wisdom tooth is extracted normally heals completely, and pericoronitis symptoms usually go away one to two weeks following the procedure. The following treatments may be used as a follow-up: Follow-up meetings with the dentists or oral surgeons to assess the rate of healing and, if necessary, the severity of tooth discomfort. If wisdom teeth were pulled, closely follow the aftercare advice, such as not smoking or quitting smoking for those who do, and consuming soft foods. Furthermore, home remedies such as oral antibiotic rinse and over-the-counter pain relievers may be suggested. And lastly, Oral hygiene includes brushing and flossing regularly.
Preventative treatment and routine dental appointments may help reduce the risk of contracting pericoronitis. Routine checkups enable the dentist to notice any indications or symptoms of pericoronitis early, increasing the likelihood of successfully treating it. Routine dental cleanings also may help prevent pericoronitis by keeping the teeth clean and debris-free. While basic dental hygiene habits such as brushing, floss, and using an oral antibacterial wash may help prevent pericoronitis, some patients will still get the condition. Finally, if an individual has any worries about getting pericoronitis, it is recommended that they contact their dentist.
Pericoronitis is extremely rare to recur after a molar has been extracted. Even when a flap of gum tissue has been removed, the tissue can sometimes regrow after a few weeks. After a removal, people usually recover in about two weeks, and for symptom-specific treatment of acute pericoronitis, they usually recover in one or two days after receiving the treatment. Preventive care, such as dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing this disorder. Your dental hygienist can keep an eye on the wisdom teeth as they emerge to extract a tooth as soon as possible if it becomes necessary. If necessary, they can also undertake routine cleanings to keep inflammation at bay.