Signs of Pericoronitis, Diagnosis and Treatment Measures

Signs of Pericoronitis, Diagnosis and Treatment Measures

Pericoronitis is the inflammation of the gum tissue of your wisdom teeth. A partial eruption of the wisdom tooth creates an opening, allowing bacteria causing infection to enter the gum tissue. The bacteria build-up, developing an abscessed gum. If this is not detected and treated, it can spread and irritate the gingiva, causing pericoronitis.

Pericoronitis mainly affects people in their mid-twenties and those that are developing their wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth grow at the back of the mouth, which is difficult to reach when brushing, making it susceptible to infection.

Types of Pericoronitis

There are two types of pericoronitis. They include:

  • Chronic pericoronitis : it is a mild inflammation of the gum tissue and has minor to no symptoms.
  • Acute pericoronitis : it has many intense symptoms such as fever, pain, or swelling. The signs indicate the spread of the infection.

Signs and Symptoms of Pericoronitis

The symptoms of pericoronitis depend on whether the condition is acute or chronic. Acute pericoronitis has the following symptoms:

  • Severe pain around your back teeth
  • Discharge of pus
  • Gum, tissue swelling
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Trismus
  • Tenderness and redness of gums
  • Difficulty in opening your mouth or jaw
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Swelling of your lymph nodes

The symptoms of chronic pericoronitis include

  • Bad breath
  • Bad taste in your mouth
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Jaw spasms
  • Swelling of the face
  • Tingling or numbness to the face.
  • A dull or mild ache lasting for not more than two days

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you observe the mentioned above symptoms, visit your dentist at West Palm Beach. Your dentist will diagnose pericoronitis by examining the symptoms and conducting a thorough physical exam. The dentist can also do an X-ray to determine the position of the wisdom teeth and the severity of the condition.

Any licensed dentist can do the diagnosis and treatment, but if the condition is so severe and requires surgery, it can only be done by an oral surgeon. A gum specialist or periodontist can treat any severe or complex cases.


Treatment of pericoronitis depends on the severity of the condition, including pain and inflammation management, wisdom tooth extraction, and surgery. When you visit our dental office in Palm Beach, your dentist will diagnose the condition and administer antibiotics to relieve the pain and inflammation.

If the inflammation and pain are so intense or do not correspond to the pain relievers, surgery is the best option. The surgery involves removing the gum flap to allow your dentist to access the gums and clean them, removing food particles and any build-up of bacteria. However, it has a setback, and the gum tissue may grow back and reinstate the condition.

The other and most common option is wisdom tooth extraction. Most individuals opt to remove a wisdom tooth that is impacted or poorly positioned. Your dentist near you will also recommend that you remove the impacted wisdom tooth because it is the leading cause of pericoronitis.

Home treatments

While it is advisable to visit your dentist or oral surgeon at Palm Beach cosmetic dentistry for a treatment plan or Pericoronitis, your dentist will recommend the following home treatment plans:

  • Warm salt water rinses
  • Over the counter relievers
  • Oral water irrigators
  • Dilute hydrogen peroxide rinses
  • Good oral hygiene such as daily flossing and brushing

You should avoid using a hot compress but opt for a cold compress applied to the area affected by the infection.

Risk Factors

The following factors will increase the risk of you having Pericoronitis:

  • Age. People aged 20-29 are mostly affected as this is when wisdom teeth begin to erupt.
  • Pregnancy
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Excess gum tissue
  • Fatigue
  • Emotional stress
  • Wisdom teeth that are poorly positioned
  • Upper respiratory tract infections

Where can you find a dentist in Palm Beach, FL?

If you are looking for a dentist in West Palm Beach, visit Dr. Mitchell Josephs. You and your family will receive the best services. Your dentist will take care of your gum problem and perform wisdom teeth extraction if necessary. Besides pericoronitis treatment, we also offer other cosmetic dental services such as gum reduction, dental veneers, implants, and tooth whitening. Call us today to book an appointment.

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