Los Algodones Dentists Guide


Pericoronitis is an infection or swelling of the gum tissue that occurs around the Wisdom Teeth. This dental disorder can bring many complications if left untreated, extending the infection and pain to other surrounding areas of the third molars as the jaw, cheeks or neck.

Why The Wisdom Teeth?

The Wisdom Teeth, also known as Third Molars, are the final set of molars that erupts for most people around the early twenties. By this age, many people don’t have enough space for the Wisdom Teeth to grow and settle properly into the mouth, so, commonly these molars require being extracted before erupting and causing any damage to the oral health. The pericoronitis can affect any tooth, but this dental disorder usually develops around the Wisdom Teeth due to the complications that the growth of this dental pieces means.

What Causes Pericoronitis?

Pericoronitis frequently originates when the Wisdom Teeth are in the eruption phase or have partially erupted, leaving the part of the gum that still covers the tooth as the perfect place for the remains of food and bacteria to build up until an infection develops in this area. It’s also important to name that a poor oral hygiene is one of the causes that contributes to the irritation of the gum, which produces the swelling around the tooth.

It’s also important to name that a poor oral hygiene is one of the main causes that contribute to the irritation of the gum as, which produces the swelling around the tooth as well.


If you note any of the following signs you could have developed a pericoronitis.

  • Swelling and pain in the gum tissue
  • Issues to open the mouth
  • Inflamed lymph nodes in the neck
  • Having the sensation of bad taste in the mouth
  • Pain in the cheeks
  • Complications to chew
  • Complications to swallow
  • Difficulty to open the jaw
  • Ear pain

Pericoronitis Treatments

It is very important to give this oral health complication an early treatment before it turns into a bigger problem that could affect other areas, causing even more pain.

In the case of presenting a slight pain and swelling, the issue can be treated using medications to manage the pain, while the infection can be controlled with a cleaning performed by a dentist applying local anesthesia where the irritation of the gum tissue originated.

If the infection is at an early stage non-prescription medications can be used to manage the pain such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen. When the infection extends to other areas causing more severe symptoms, the specialist can prescribe the use of oral antibiotics to keep the infection under control.

The removal of the operculum that covers part of the tooth through a minor surgery is another procedure used to treat pericoronitis. The purpose of this process is to avoid the buildup of bacteria caused by the difficulty to clean the area properly.

How to Prevent Pericoronitis?

Keeping a proper oral hygiene is primordial to avoid any complication that affects the health of the mouth. The extraction of the wisdom teeth could also be necessary if the dentist determines that the eruption of these dental pieces represent future complications to the oral health. In most of the case, the third molars are extracted even before eruption to prevent future issues as pericoronitis.