All you need to know about Pericoronitis

We need to extra cautious about the well being of our mouth. It is so sensitive and prone to all sort of diseases, infection and inflammation that we do not know when we are affected by some. So we need to take good care of our teeth and gums so that we can avoid any such condition. There are many conditions that we are aware of such as – Gingivitis, Periodontal Disease, Cavities, Plaque or even Bad Breath. However that is not all. There is one more condition where-in we face inflammation in our soft tissues which surrounds the crown of a partially erupted teeth. This condition is called as Pericoronitis which is also called as Operculitis. The relevance of the name Operculitis comes from the fact that the soft tissue which covers the partially erupted teeth is known as Operculum. 

Causes of Operculitis or Pericoronitis 

Pericoronitis develops when the wisdom teeth does not erupt fully through the gums. Now because of this situation bacteria enters the tooth which eventually leads to infection. In this condition the food or plaque gets trapped underneath the gums and causes irritation and leads to pericoronitis. In its most severe situation the swelling and infection spreads beyond jaw to neck and cheeks.

pericoronitis infection

The ideal age when this happens is when we are developing our wisdom tooth and is classified into acute and chronic. The former comes with severe pain, fever and swelling while the latter comes with only mild symptoms and any such connection with acute. If left untreated this infection can spread to other parts of neck and face which requires emergency treatment.

The symptoms

The symptoms of this condition includes the following:

  1. Pain
  2. Swelling in the gum tissues
  3. Infection
  4. Unbearable bad taste because of the pus
  5. Swelling in the lymph nodes
  6. Difficulty in opening the mouth.


The diagnosis involves examination of wisdom tooth. Your dentist will check how these tooth are erupting but will primarily check whether they are partially erupted or not. An X-ray is taken to check the alignment of wisdom tooth. Your dentist knows the best way to diagnose the infection so he/she will also check for swelling or any other infection and will also check the gum flaps around the wisdom tooth.


The treatment of this condition is accomplished by resolving the inflammation. The inflammation is resolved by removing the debris from the pericoronal tissues or even by removing the tooth. The debris is removed by warm water mixed with salt. Your dentist will make sure that there is no food trapped in the gum flap. You might be even given antibiotics to resolve the issue completely in case you are suffering from swelling and experiencing pain. However if the issues keeps on popping up time and again you might have to undergo an oral surgery.


This condition is generally found among the young adults who are developing their wisdom tooth so we need to pay attention to this condition very minutely. Furthermore if you experience pain and swelling do not think twice and just rush to your dentist to understand the problem.

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