Pain resulted from pericoronitis can be really excruciating. In addition to pain, pericoronitis that occurs due to an impacted third molar may also lead to difficulty opening the mouth, swallowing, and chewing. Many people even experience inability to close the mouth properly, as if they do, they are going to bite down the infected gum area. Failing to perform proper treatments for pericoronitis will lead to worse symptoms and discomfort.
What happens in pericoronitis site?
The main cause of pericoronitis is the improper eruption of the third molars. Gum inability to support the teeth due to its limited space leaves a gap between the gum and the impacted tooth, making it really easy for bacteria to get into the space. Along with the tooth eruption, this gap grows bigger and becomes the perfect harbor for bacteria growth. These bacteria are as a matter of fact, present on the saliva, but they were regulated by oxygen present in the saliva, so that overgrowth can be controlled. When these bacteria get beneath the gum, on the other hand, they are not exposed to sufficient oxygen from the saliva. As anaerobic bacteria, this is a beneficial condition that trigger their fast growth. This overgrowth causes infection to the gum tissues, which occurs as severe inflammation and swelling.
How long does pericoronitis last?
- Pericoronitis-induced swelling and inflammation usually begins with a sensation as if the gum has been scratched by certain rough objects. You might experience this very mild discomfort on the gum for several hours to few days before you feel your gum at the back to be slightly swollen.
- This swollen part of the gum may trigger stiffness to the jaw, causing difficulty opening the mouth, which may last for next few days. It is also possible for you to feel very bad pain when bringing your teeth together. This pain is resulted since the upper wisdom tooth hits the lower wisdom tooth, wherein an infection commonly occurs. With mild pericoronitis, swelling can be treated with better oral hygiene practices. Gargling the infected area with warn saline solution or fluoride-based mouthwash will also help bringing down the inflammation. Mild swelling can be very painful, but will usually go away within days with suitable treatments. Unfortunately, swelling and pain caused by severe pericoronitis may last quite longer than the mild one. If you are suffering from swelling and pain not only on the gum, but also the cheeks and throat as a result of swollen lymph nodes, this may take much longer time to heal compared to those triggered by mild pericoronitis. If treated properly—in many cases using oral antibiotics—this more severe effects of pericoronitis will go away within one or two weeks. To bring down inflammation and pain that occur due to an infection around wisdom teeth, regular application of warm compresses is highly recommended.
- Pericoronitis may also be accompanied by the formation of pus-filled gum ulcers around the infection site. This will significantly make the healing period longer, as the infection will not likely to go away of the ulcers are still there. Thus, it is very important to maintain mouth hygiene to get rid of developing ulcers and gum flap during the eruption of the third molars.
- Pericoronitis is likely to come back if the source of the problem is not thoroughly removed or taken care of. Some people experience pericorontis twice or three times a year, based on how well they clean the affected wisdom teeth and the infection site. Thus, more frequent pericoronitis can also possibly occur.
When to see a doctor?
Mild and acute pericoronitis commonly go away with better hygiene practices. Hence, although it is difficult, you need to thoroughly brush the third molars and floss them if required. Although home remedies might seem effective for treating pericoronitis, this problem might come back and when it does, it may cause more severe symptoms, such as fever, excessive swelling, and pus drainage. By this time, you will needed to see the dentist immediately. Moreover, if you are suffering from pericoronitis and other third-molar related dental problems that increase your temperature level, it is very important to see the doctor immediately.