Is Pericoronitis a Dental Emergency?

Have you noticed that your gums are swollen in certain areas? Not sure what the reason may be? At DentAllon Dentistry, we provide preventive dentistry and treat a wide variety of dental issues. 

Here's what you need to know. 

What Is Pericoronitis?

Pericoronitis is a condition that affects the gum tissue, especially around the lower back molars. The condition manifests through inflammation and swelling of the gum in that area.

This happens when the wisdom teeth do not entirely erupt and the soft tissue that grows over them can cause infection and swelling. When it stays there, the irritation will most likely cause pericoronitis. 

This condition can evolve so much it starts to affect the jaw, cheeks, and neck. 

Symptoms of Pericoronitis 

Pericoronitis can have either acute or chronic symptoms. 

When you experience acute symptoms, you can feel:

  • Pain
  • Swelling of gum tissue 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pus 
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Fever
  • Infection

When you experience chronic symptoms, you can feel: 

  • Occasional mild discomfort
  • A foul taste in the mouth

Is Pericoronitis a Dental Emergency?

When the signs of pericoronitis are mild, you can try some home remedies to ease them. But if the symptoms persist for more than a few days or they intensify, it is a sign you need to see a dentist and get treated. 

If the symptoms are not treated properly, there can be complications that spread to other areas. On rare occasions, it can cause sepsis when the infection spreads to the bloodstream, and that can actually be life-threatening.

If you have had symptoms for a while but did not go to the dentist, pericoronitis can turn into a dental emergency as it involves further complications.

Treatment for Pericoronitis 

The first step is for your dentist to examine the wisdom teeth to see how they are erupting and if there are signs of infection or if the gums flap around the tooth. 

The treatment for pericoronitis includes several methods, depending on the stage the condition is at.

  • Oral Hygiene 

When the affected area is small, and it has not spread, what you can do is rinse your mouth with warm water mixed with salt. The dentist will also clean the area by flushing any debris or bacteria and keeping the gum flap clean of any food left there. 

  • Medicine 

Your dentist might prescribe medication to relieve the pain, or you can take off-the-counter medication for pain. 

If the area is swollen and painful, you need to see the dentist immediately. If the area is infected, you might get an antibiotic prescription.

  • Surgery

If the stage of the condition is more severe, a minor surgery might be needed to remove the gum flap or the wisdom tooth. 

  • Extraction 

If the tooth cannot grow normally, then a tooth extraction might be the best solution, also to avoid further infections. 

For any dental problem, you can always count on DentAllon Dentistry. Our list of services includes preventive dentistry, dental surgeries, and orthodontic treatments.

Contact us today and schedule an appointment.

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