Pericoronitis, an infection of the gums around the teeth, can be extremely painful and debilitating. If left untreated, this condition can lead to permanent tooth loss, so it’s imperative that you bring yourself in to see your dentist as soon as possible if you suspect you have it. Luckily, though pericoronitis can be stubborn to treat, there are lots of steps your dentist will take to try and help you feel better and avoid any long-term problems.
Symptoms of Pericoronitis
The signs and symptoms of pericoronitis range from mild to severe. In mild cases, one may simply have a bad taste in their mouth that has lasted for weeks or months. In more serious cases, swelling and pain in or around the gums can be present. Additionally, an infection caused by pericoronitis might cause chipped teeth, loose teeth or even broken teeth.
If there is an infection between your wisdom teeth and gum tissue it could spread and go deeper into your jawbone which would require surgery to repair damaged bone tissue.
Depending on how long you have had pericoronitis will also determine what treatment plan your dentist prescribes to you. Most people who have recently discovered they have pericoronitis are prescribed antibiotics, periodontal dressing change and possible surgical intervention if deep pockets between teeth and gums are present.
Those who exhibit chronic pericoronitis symptoms are usually treated with extractions followed by periodontal (gum) treatments for several months afterward. Be sure to follow up with your dentist regularly so you know if anything needs changing in order to fully recover!
Causes of Pericoronitis
Plaque can cause infection in your mouth, but it’s usually not enough to trigger pericoronitis on its own. More commonly, pericoronitis develops when there’s an issue with your gum tissue. Inflammation from plaque or from chronic periodontal disease makes it easier for food to around your wisdom teeth. Food that gets trapped between your wisdom teeth and gum line provides a good environment for bacteria to grow. Once bacteria is present, you are much more likely to develop pericoronitis.
Prevention of Pericoronitis
The dentist should remind you to your partial denture prior to brushing, especially if you are not accustomed to taking it out. Partials can be removed easily by soaking them in an enzyme-based solution containing disinfectants such as Chlorhexidine Gluconate.
This will kill any remaining bacteria that cause pericoronitis and prevent future infections. An added benefit of using enzymatic cleansers is they keep your dentures clean while they are off. You should clean your partials two times daily before bed and prior to meals during perio treatment; however, these recommendations may vary depending on your case.
Diagnosis for Pericoronitis
Your dentist will have to make sure that you have , before they can treat it. This is because there are other mouth sores that look very similar to , which require different treatments and diagnoses. In order to properly diagnosis you for , your dentist will have to examine any surrounding teeth and gums.
Your dentist may also use x-rays in order to assess your bone health, as well as whether or not you may need another treatment in addition to pericoronitis treatment. Some patients with severe cases of might require an implant or crown replacement in addition to endodontics or root canal therapy.
Treatment Options for Patients with Pericoronitis
Your dentist will likely clean your mouth, especially at-risk teeth. After removing any food debris or bacteria, your dentist may fill in cavities to prevent further tooth decay. If you have periodontal disease, your dentist will treat it.
Many patients with also have a history of poor oral hygiene and dental flossing is an important part of treatment plan. To keep your teeth clean between visits to your dentist, invest in interdental brushes or dental flossers. Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics if you have swollen gums or other signs of infection.
Generally, you’ll need to see a dentist if persists for more than 3 months because it can lead to more serious gum diseases like pyorrhea.