If you have wisdom teeth coming through, you could be at risk of a condition known as pericoronitis. Though pericoronitis, which involves the inflammation of the soft tissue partially covering an erupting tooth, sometimes results only in minor discomfort, it can become serious enough to merit treatment at a hospital.
With that in mind, here's a quick overview of everything you need to know about pericoronitis.
What Causes Pericoronitis?
Pericoronitis almost always affects the third molars, otherwise known as the wisdom teeth. When these teeth start to come through, it will be very hard to keep bacteria from accumulating beneath the surrounding tissue. Additionally, you might find the surrounding teeth causing trauma against that exposed tissue as you chew. In any case, pericoronitis can develop as a result.
What Are the Symptoms of Pericoronitis?
If you develop pericoronitis, one of the most probable complications is pain around the wisdom tooth in question. Of course, erupting wisdom teeth can cause discomfort even without the development of pericoronitis, but pain should be more acute if pericoronitis occurs.
Additionally, you may notice that the gum tissue begins to swell, and this swelling can spread to the face and neck, making it tough to open the mouth fully without experiencing any discomfort. Swelling will often be accompanied by redness, and you may notice a build-up of pus in your mouth.
Why Does Pericoronitis Demand Immediate Treatment?
If you think you have pericoronitis, you really need to book an appointment with either your dentist or an emergency dentist right away, especially if the tooth, jaw, or cheeks have become swollen. Acute pericoronitis can create severe pain, as well as a high fever, especially when an abscess has been allowed to develop as a result of the build-up of pus.
Any infection can spread to the cheeks, as well as the other parts of the face or neck. Given the proximity of the wisdom teeth to your airways, any spreading of infection is a serious concern, so you need to have the problem treated as soon as you can.
Even if discomfort isn't serious, it's best to get the problem sorted as soon as possible. It is hard to clean under the gum tissue, but the problem won't be sorted until this has happened. You might even find that decay sets in, which could result in the need to pull your newly erupted wisdom tooth right away.