Pericoronitis is an inflammation and infection of the gum tissue surrounding a partially erupted or impacted tooth. It commonly occurs in the wisdom teeth area, but it can also affect other teeth in the mouth. Some common symptoms of pericoronitis include pain, swelling, and difficulty opening the mouth. While it is an unpleasant condition, it can be managed by home remedies and professional treatment. In this blog post, we will discuss pericoronitis causes, symptoms, and home treatment options.
Causes and Symptoms of Pericoronitis
Partial eruption or impaction of a tooth is the most common cause of pericoronitis. When a tooth does not erupt fully, it can trap food and bacteria between the gum tissue flap and the partially erupted crown, leading to inflammation of the gum tissue.
Other factors that may contribute to pericoronitis include poor oral hygiene, smoking, and certain medical conditions such as diabetes. The most common symptom of pericoronitis is pain. You may also experience:
- Swelling around the affected area
- Difficulty in opening your mouth
- Bad breath
- Pus drainage from the affected area
You can read more about the inflammation and infection of the gum flap covering a wisdom tooth.
Home Treatment for Pericoronitis
If you think you have pericoronitis, seek professional treatment as soon as possible. Some home treatment options can help reduce the symptoms of pericoronitis and make you feel more comfortable until you see a dentist.
Here are some home treatment options to help manage pericoronitis symptoms:
- Improving oral hygiene: Make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss regularly. This will help remove plaque and bacteria from the affected area, which can reduce inflammation.
- Over-the-counter pain relief: OTC medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Antibacterial mouthwash: Using an antibacterial mouthwash can help reduce the buildup of bacteria in your mouth and wash away food debris.
- Warm salt water rinses: Mix a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and swish it around your mouth for about 30 seconds. Saltwater rinses have antibacterial properties that can help reduce inflammation and pain.
- Avoid smoking: Smoking can make pericoronitis symptoms worse and delay healing.
- Avoiding irritating foods: Stay away from hard, crunchy, or chewy foods that may irritate the affected area. Instead, stick with soft and easy-to-chew foods, such as mashed potatoes.
Can Home Treatment Cure the Pericoronitis?
Unfortunately, home treatment cannot cure pericoronitis because it does not address the underlying cause. However, home treatment can help reduce the discomfort and pain associated with pericoronitis until you see a dentist for professional treatment.
Visiting a dentist is crucial if you have pericoronitis because this condition often requires professional treatment. Your dentist can address the underlying cause of your pericoronitis and provide the appropriate treatment.
Ignoring pericoronitis and delaying professional treatment can lead to serious complications. The infection can spread to other areas of your mouth, leading to a dental abscess. In rare cases, if the infection spreads to other parts of your body, causing life-threatening conditions, such as sepsis and Ludwig’s angina.
Professional Treatment for Pericoronitis
Pericoronitis home treatment doesn’t replace professional treatment. Professional treatment is necessary to address the underlying cause of your pericoronitis.
Treatment options may include:
- Professional cleaning: During this procedure, your dentist will remove plaque, tartar, and debris from the affected area.
- Antibiotics: Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to help fight infection.
- Removal of tissue flap or gum flap: Your dentist may recommend removing the gum tissue flap (dental operculum) causing pericoronitis. This procedure is known as operculectomy.
- Tooth extraction: If the tooth is impacted or pericoronitis is severe or recurrent, your dentist may recommend extraction of the affected tooth.
Your dentist may recommend home remedies, such as OTC pain medications and saltwater rinses, in conjunction with professional treatment for smooth healing and speedy recovery.
Remember that pericoronitis home treatment is not a substitute for professional pericoronitis treatment. If you experience any of the symptoms of pericoronitis, visit your dentist as soon as possible to prevent further complications.
Pericoronitis can be a painful and uncomfortable condition, but with proper home treatment and professional treatment, it can be managed effectively. Home treatment options, such as improving oral hygiene, taking OTC pain relief medications, and avoiding irritating foods can help reduce the symptoms.
Pericoronitis home treatment can help reduce discomfort and pain, but it doesn’t replace professional treatment. Visiting a dentist for proper diagnosis and treatment is essential to ensure your dental health.
Ignoring pericoronitis and delaying professional treatment can lead to more serious problems.