Pericoronitis is when gum tissue becomes red, swollen and infected around the 3rd molars (wisdom teeth) area. These are the final set of molars that begin to erupt in the late teen or early twenties. Usually when there isn’t enough space for the 3rd molar to erupt, it will only grow partially out of the tissue or in some cases it will not grow at all. When it does grow partially out of the tissue it can create a flap on the area where the tooth is erupting. This flap or gum tissue can hold bacteria and food particles causing the area to become swollen and infected. In some instances, pericoronitis can occur on a wisdom tooth that is still under the gums. The symptoms desk-topfor pericoronitis can be pain and swollen tissue, bad smell or taste in the mouth, discharge of pus near the tooth area, difficulty opening mouth and feeling ill. Pericoronitis can be diagnose by visiting your dental office, in the visit your dentist will recommend an x-ray and will evaluate visually and look for any red, swollen, or pus around the wisdom tooth. Pericoronitis can be treated by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water. This is of course if the redness and swollenness has not spread. If the infection is growing your dentist can treat the infection with antibiotics. If inflammation is severe and pericoronitis recurs it may be necessary to have oral surgery to remove gum flap or wisdom tooth. Once the flap or the wisdom tooth is removed you shouldn’t have a problem with pericoronitis. If the wisdom tooth is removed it is highly recommended to extract the opposing wisdom tooth so that you won’t bite down on the tissue. The dentist might also prescribe pain medication to help relieve some pain. You can prevent pericoronitis by maintaining good oral hygiene and making sure that no food particles and bacteria do not accumulate under the flap when there is a wisdom tooth erupting. If you are experiencing some pericoronitis symptoms you can always contact our Santa Ana Dentist Dr. Kalantari or your friendly office of Smiles on Bristol Dentistry. Contact Us