What in the World is Periocoronitis?

Posted on 5/15/2020 by Cole Anderson, DMD, MS
What in the World is Periocoronitis?
When it comes to medical conditions, the names given to these conditions often sound worse than the problem. They are long and are not familiar to anyone that has not gone through medical training. In the dental field, a person may hear they have periocoronitis and may start to worry about what it means. Taking some time to explain this confusing term in words you understand can help you manage the condition.

The Basics

Pericoronitis is a swelling of the tissue around the wisdom teeth. It typically occurs when the wisdom teeth partially erupt. This creates an opening where food and plaque can get under a flap and irritate the gums. The opening is also a place where an infection develops. The combination of the infection and the irritation leads to the swelling known as periocoronitis.

Symptoms and Treatment

Symptoms include swelling, pain, a bad taste in the mouth and difficulty opening the mouth. The best way to diagnose is through a visual inspection and x-rays. Treatment can include rinsing with warm salt water to reduce the swelling, antibiotics and in some cases, surgery to remove the flap of gum tissue. A laser can help reduce the inflammation associated with periocoronitis. Over the counter pain medication, or if needed, prescription pain relievers can help with the swelling and the pain associated with this condition.
The key to dealing with periocoronitis is recognizing the problem and getting a proper diagnosis and determining the extent of the problem. If the problem is due to the partially erupted wisdom teeth, it is often necessary to manage that problem as well. That allows you to find out how to treat the issue the right way. You should not ignore this problem as it could get worse.
For more information about this or any other oral health issue, contact our office to schedule an appointment.

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