Pericoronitis is an inflammation of the gum tissue covering a partially erupted or impacted tooth, usually lower wisdom teeth (third molars). It can cause pain and swelling in the area, making it difficult to eat and brush your teeth. The good news is that with proper treatment, pericoronitis can usually be managed effectively. In this blog post, we’ll explain what pericoronitis is, how salt water rinses can help treat it, and other treatment options.
What is Pericoronitis?
A dental operculum is a flap of gum tissue that covers a partially erupted or impacted tooth. When food particles, bacteria, and plaque accumulate under this gum flap, it can cause pericoronitis. Pericoronitis occurs when the operculum becomes inflamed or infected due to poor oral hygiene, trauma, hormonal changes, and other factors. It usually occurs around wisdom teeth, the last permanent adult teeth to erupt.
Signs & Symptoms
The primary symptom of pericoronitis is pain and swelling. Other symptoms include:
- Difficulty opening the mouth
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Difficulty eating or drinking due to pain
- Pus discharge around the tooth
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck or jaw area.
Home remedies for pericoronitis can help reduce pain and swelling. Salt water helps to flush out bacteria and debris from the affected area.
However, home remedies, such as salt water rinse, are not a cure for pericoronitis and should be used with other treatments prescribed by your dentist.
If left untreated, it can lead to more serious problems, such as an abscess or infection in the jawbone. Therefore, it is important to seek professional help if you experience any of the above symptoms.
Salt Water Rinse for Pericoronitis
Salt water rinses are a safe and effective way to reduce symptoms of pericoronitis and help speed up the healing process. Salt water helps to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation due to its antimicrobial properties.
It also helps cleanse the area and wash away debris. Saltwater rinses are easy to do, cost-effective, and can be done several times a day for maximum effect.
How to Use Salt Water Rinse for Pericoronitis?
To make a salt water rinse for pericoronitis:
- Mix 1 teaspoon of table salt in a cup of warm water.
- Stir the mixture until all the salt is dissolved.
- Rinse your mouth with this solution for 30 seconds; swish it around the affected area.
- Spit out the rinse and repeat up to three times a day for best results.
- It is important to only rinse with warm water as hot water can irritate the area and cause further discomfort.
You can also use an over-the-counter oral rinse, such as chlorhexidine gluconate, to treat pericoronitis. Make sure to dilute it with water before rinsing, and follow the instructions on the package carefully.
Also, brush your teeth regularly and gently floss between the affected area to remove trapped food particles or bacteria contributing to inflammation.
OTC Painkillers in Combination with Salt Water for Pericoronitis
In addition to salt water rinses, you can take painkillers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help reduce the discomfort caused by pericoronitis.
When taking these medications, follow the instructions on the package and do not exceed the recommended dosage. Contact your doctor to make sure that painkillers won’t interact with any other medications you are taking.
Treatment Options for Pericoronitis
Home remedies, such as salt water rinse, can be effective in treating the inflammation associated with pericoronitis. However, they don’t always address the underlying cause and may not provide long-term relief.
In these cases, more advanced treatments are necessary to treat pericoronitis. Professional treatment options include:
- Professional teeth cleaning: If the pericoronitis is caused by food or plaque build-up, your dentist may recommend a professional cleaning of the affected area.
- Antibiotics: Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to reduce the inflammation and help eliminate the infection. Antibiotics may be taken orally or applied topically to the affected area.
- Operculectomy procedure: Opeculectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the gum tissue flap covering the wisdom tooth.
- Wisdom tooth extraction: Wisdom teeth may need to be extracted if other treatments fail. This is often done under local anesthesia and can provide long-term relief from pericoronitis.
Pericoronitis Salt Water – Conclusion
Pericoronitis is a painful condition that can cause inflammation and infection of the gum tissue surrounding the wisdom teeth. Home remedies, such as salt water rinse and OTC painkillers, can help reduce the symptoms of pericoronitis.
However, they will not cure the underlying cause of the condition. Your dentist may recommend other treatments, such as an operculectomy or wisdom tooth extraction. It is crucial to consult your doctor if you are experiencing pain and inflammation to receive proper treatment.