Ever heard of pericoronitis?
Pericoronitis is a common problem in young adults when a tooth is not fully erupted into the mouth yet. It usually occurs between 17 to 24 years of age, because that’s when the third molars normally start erupting. It occurs when the tissue around a wisdom tooth has become infected because bacteria have invaded the area. Poor oral hygiene and mechanical trauma on nearby tissue can cause this inflammation, also. Although, it can be impossible to effectively brush the necessary area and prevent this from occurring due to a partially erupted tooth. Food impaction and caries (tooth cavities) are also problems associated with third molar pain.
Treatment for minor symptoms of pericoronitis (spontaneous pain, localized swelling, purulence/drainage, foul taste) is irrigation. Major symptoms of pericoronitis (difficulty swallowing, enlarged lymph nodes, fever, limited mouth opening, facial cellulitis/infection) are usually treated with antibiotics. In most instances the symptoms will recur and the only definitive treatment is extraction. If left untreated, however, recurring infections are likely, and the infection can eventually spread to other areas of the mouth. The most severe cases may require intravenous antibiotics and surgery.
We see patients with pericoronitis almost every day! It’s a very common problem, and it’s not hard to treat. Looking for a fabulous oral surgeon? Call Neal OMS or check out www.nealoms.com. (I’m not biased, or anything, but they’re the best!)