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Wisdom teeth: What is pericoronitis?

11th September 2019

Are you concerned about your wisdom teeth and pericoronitis? Then worry no more as we explain the symptoms, causes, treatment and best prevention tips.


What is pericoronitis?

Pericoronitis is inflammation of the tissue surrounding the wisdom tooth, also known as the third molars. Wisdom teeth usually start to become visible in the late teen years but the condition mostly occurs on wisdom teeth that are only partially visible. Pericoronitis can occur when people have a flap of gum tissue partially covering the crown of the erupting tooth.



The symptoms of pericoronitis vary depending on whether the condition is acute or chronic. The symptoms include:


The symptoms of acute pericoronitis include:


The symptoms of chronic pericoronitis include: 

Causes of pericoronitis

Pericoronitis usually occurs when the wisdom tooth has begun to sprout and is partially visible. Bacteria then grows around the soft tissue causing inflammation. The following factors can increase your risk of pericoronitis:



Pericoronitis can be tricky to treat as the flap of gum tissue will remain until the wisdom tooth has fully come through. If the tooth is expected to fully erupt on its own then your dentist may advise on how to keep the area clean and how to manage the pain until it is fully visible. Alternatively, you may require surgery to have the tissue removed or the tooth removed.



You can alleviate and treat minor symptoms of pericoronitis at home by using a warm salt water rinse and toothbrush to gently clean the area of plaque and debris. However, if your symptoms are severe or you have been experiencing them for longer than a few days then you should make an appointment with your dentist.

If you are situated in Rotherham, Worksop, Retford and surrounding areas and are in need of a check-up or would like to book an appointment then please call us on 01709 917 666

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