There are a number of complications your mouth, gum, and teeth may undergo and thus, knowing the symptoms and signs of each problem is essential for providing proper treatments and prevent it from worsening. Pericoronitis commonly occurs along with abnormal eruption of wisdom teeth and therefore, people in their late twenties are often more susceptible. However, this does not mean that pericoronitis does not affect those who are either younger or older than twenty years old. If you have got an impacted molar or tooth—although not the third molars—you might have an increasing risk of pericoronitis development.
Pericoronitis symptoms and signs
Pericoronitis trigger various discomforts and complication that range from mild to severe level. During its initial occurrence, these symptoms can be treated quite easily, while if left untreated for prolonged period, they may develop into much worse complications that may require tooth extraction.
Mild symptoms of pericoronitis include:
- Toothache that may be occasional or intermittent. This toothache affects the gum where the causal wisdom tooth erupts through as well as the tooth itself.
- Occasional swelling and inflammation of the gum around the wisdom tooth crown. In addition to swelling, pericoronitis may also trigger mild bleeding caused by a mild gum tear. In mild pericoronitis, however, it is possible that the swelling comes and go, instead of staying for prolonged period.
- Mild bad taste in the mouth, which is resulted from pus leaking from the gums.
Moderate symptoms and signs of pericoronitis, on the other hand, include:
- Toothache that is mostly caused by caries or pulpitis, instead of merely pericoronitis. In moderate-level pericoronitis, toothache becomes more intense and may also trigger headache or earache.
- Swelling and inflammation of gum tissue around the improperly-erupting wisdom tooth which lead to difficulty of chewing foods. This swelling may and may not be accompanied with bleeding, but almost likely to be accompanied by pus leakage. Swelling problem in moderate-level of pericoronitis may also lead to sore throat and mild difficulty in swallowing.
- A flap in gum, which comes from excessed gum tissue. This may be a harbor for bacterial infestation, which can intensify the swelling and pain as a result of bacteria overgrowth.
Moreover, severe symptoms and signs of pericoronitis are as follow:
- Severe toothache that won’t go away, despite all cleaning treatments you have performed, such as gargling with mouthwash and tooth brushing and flossing. This toothache may also be followed by tooth decay or tooth root infection, which is very painful.
- Severe, persistent swelling, which makes it difficult, not only for swallowing and chewing foods, but also merely opening the mouth.
- Spread swelling, which does not only affect the gum around the molar tooth crown, but also the cheeks and throat as a result of swollen lymph nodes. This swelling can be massive and persistent that it causes bold pain and throbbing sensation.
- As the infection gets much more severe, fever may presence.
What can be done to prevent symptoms from developing?
Mild symptoms of pericoronitis can be treated at home by performing proper mouth hygiene practices. This includes brushing the teeth regularly, gargling with mouthwash, and clean the mouth after eating. Brushing wisdom teeth may not be easy, due to its location at the further back of the mouth, so that using small solo brush or children brush can be helpful. It is very important not to brush the teeth too aggressively, as this may cause tearing of the gum which can cause bleeding. To bring down the swelling caused by bacteria overgrowth, you can gargle the mouth using mouthwash containing fluoride. It is better to avoid using alcohol-based mouthwash as this may aggravate the gum tissues and instead, worsen the infection.
Since pericoronitis may also trigger gum flaps, it is important to chew foods carefully. Otherwise, this flaps may be accidentally chewed, which may lead to bleeding and further infection. If you are suffering from acute symptoms of pericoronitis, painkillers can be taken occasionally, while more severe symptoms and signs of the disease need to be handled thoroughly by a dentist, in order to prevent further bacterial infestation and tooth decay.