Pericoronitis—the infection of the gum around an impacted wisdom tooth is always painful. In many cases, the affected area may be swollen, causing not only difficulty chewing, but also opening and closing the mouth. If not treated properly, this wisdom tooth infection may develop into much severe cases that may not trigger merely those mentioned symptoms. Severe pericoronitis leads to bad taste in mouth as a result of pus drainage around the infected area. In many untreated cases of pericoronitis, this dental problem also raises body temperature and causes fever.
Pericoronitis bacterial infection
Pericoronitis, which causes swelling, inflammation, and pain around the area wherein the third molars erupt is triggered by an overgrowth of bacteria residing in the mouth. These bacteria infest the gum tissues through an opening formed due to not-fully-erupting wisdom teeth. This gap is formed between the gum and the erupting molar, making it possible for bacteria in the mouth and saliva to come in, thrive around the opening, and infect the gum tissues. Bacteria residing in the mouth are anaerobic and thus, grow and multiply very well without oxygen—a perfect condition under the gum flap around the erupting wisdom tooth.
Can pericoronitis cause fever?
People’s normal body temperature may vary according to several factors, such as eating, exercises, sleeping quality, and the time of the day. It is possible for our body temperature to go up and down due to variety of influencing factors. In addition to mentioned risk factors, infection and illness may influence body temperature as well. Dental problems such as pericoronitis is no exception. This problem is caused by thriving bacteria, which in anaerobic environment are overgrowing. While mild pericoronitis is signed by swelling of the gum flap, bad mouth odor, and swelling of the affected gum area, more severe pericoronitis may include some severe symptoms, such as fever and difficulty opening the mouth, as well as jaw stiffness.
This condition is possible, as when the thriving bacteria is multiplying in number, the body responds to fight this infection by raising its basal temperature. Hence, raising body temperature is a sign that white blood cells are fighting the infesting bacteria. As pericoronitis is mostly triggered by bacteria trapped beneath the gum flap and gum, untreated symptoms keep the body fight these bacteria, resulting in significantly changed temperature. This temperature may go up and down, depending on the body’s effort in fighting the infection culprit. Fever caused by pericoronitis is often accompanied by shivering, feeling cold, lack of appetite, sensitivity to pain, problems concentrating, excessive sweating, sleepiness, and fatigue. Moreover, this condition may not only affect the mouth, gum, and teeth around the infected area, but also the ears and head. Thus, pericoronitis fever also triggers migraine, headaches, or dizziness as well as throbbing earache.
What can be done?
In order to restore body temperature to its normal rate, it is essential that the causal risk factor is gotten rid of. Thus, practicing proper oral hygiene that will help improve pericoronitis can help get rid of existing fever. Some medications can also be taken to help minimize the symptoms caused by the fever, so that the effects do not develop into more severe stages.