Wisdom Teeth Swelling

Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that usually appear in your teens or early twenties. Some people are able to keep their wisdom teeth their entire lifetime. Others end up having issues and need the teeth surgically removed. One problem that may arise for individuals who have their wisdom teeth is pericoronitis—a swelling and infection of the gum tissue surrounding the wisdom teeth, and it’s most likely to pop up around the lower wisdom teeth. Most instances of pericoronitis happen when the tooth is partially impacted, which means that some of it is still under the gum tissue.

How does something like this happen? A gum flap (operculum) forms partially over the tooth’s crown when you have a partially impacted tooth. Bacteria, debris, and food become stuck underneath the flap, leading to an infection.

Are there symptoms to watch for? Yes, the symptoms of pericoronitis include:

  • Severe pain around the wisdom tooth or teeth
  • Facial swelling
  • Fever
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Lockjaw
  • Unpleasant taste or odor in your mouth
  • Swollen lymph nodes in your neck
  • Drainage or pus

If you notice these symptoms, contact your dentist straightaway.

What is the treatment for pericoronitis? Pericoronitis treatment may be different depending on the case, but there are typically similar steps a dentist will follow. The dentist will want to flush out the accumulated debris and food particles. You’ll likely receive an antibiotic prescription to clear up the infection. There are prescription and over-the-counter antibacterial mouthwashes that can also help clear up the pericoronitis. If you’re at risk of chronic pericoronitis, you dentist will likely recommend removing the wisdom teeth.

You can soothe your symptoms at home with over-the-counter pain relievers to help manage pain. Try a warm saltwater rinse three to four times a day. Ensure you’re practicing good oral hygiene by brushing twice a day and flossing after each meal.

Woodstock Smiles is here for all your dental emergencies. Contact us today if you believe you’re experiencing pericoronitis symptoms.