Pericoronitis involves the gums around a wisdom tooth. Sometimes the third and final set of molars for young adults have difficulties. When the gingiva becomes inflamed it is called pericoronitis. It can be due to a partial impaction. But it can also be caused by bacteria that builds up because it’s difficult to brush in that area of the mouth. Most people with pericoronitis have a flap of tissue that partially covers the erupting wisdom tooth. This is what allows bacteria to spread infection.

Are there any symptoms of pericoronitis?

For most people, the first symptom of pericoronitis is pain. It is usually located in the gum right where the infection forms. However, it may be felt in the jaw, throat, or tongue. Additionally, some people mention having a bad taste in their mouth. This is due to the build-up of bacteria. As the infection progresses without treatment, you may experience swelling in the face or glands.

 In some cases, pericoronitis causes a fever. Please note, that if you suspect there is any kind of infection in your mouth accompanied by a fever, reach out to your dentist in Birmingham for immediate care. High fever and pericoronitis can be a sign you have developed oral sepsis. This can be a potentially life-threatening condition and needs immediate treatment. If you suspect you have pericoronitis, schedule an exam with Dr. Roberson. He can confirm or deny your suspicions and provide appropriate treatment for you.

What kind of treatment is available for pericoronitis?

Treating pericoronitis will depend on the size of the flap of gum tissue and how much room you have for incoming wisdom teeth. If there is room for the wisdom teeth to erupt through the gums and they are growing properly, they may just need some time to finish coming in. While waiting to see if they can erupt normally, take exceptional care of your teeth and gums. Brush carefully to ensure there are no remaining food particles. You may try rinsing with warm salt water to help clean the area.

Sometimes, your dentist in Birmingham can recommend a minor surgical treatment to remove the flap of tissue. When the extra flap is removed, it makes it easier to keep the area clean. This reduces the chances of an infection developing. If there is not enough room in your mouth for your wisdom teeth, or if they are impacted, you may need to have your wisdom teeth removed surgically. Treating pericoronitis effectively is important because it can lead to other health problems. When it is caught early, there are more treatment options and they have a better chance of being successful.

When to Seek Dental Care

If you notice your jaw or a cheek is swollen, or you have a toothache, schedule an appointment with your dentist in Birmingham. Dr. Roberson can diagnose pericoronitis or determine if there is something else going on. When caught early enough an antibiotic like penicillin or erythromycin may be effective. Your dentist may clean out from under the tissue to remove bacteria, food particles, or plaque that could be causing the condition to start with. If needed, you may be given local anesthesia to numb the area and reduce pain during the procedure.

Schedule an Exam with Roberson Dental Care Today

Regular dental exams can often prevent pericoronitis and other dental conditions. When pericoronitis and other problems are diagnosed early on, they respond better to treatment. Call our offices today to schedule your next exam!

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