Wisdom teeth love to cause trouble. For many people, they come in just fine, while others never erupt and some even become impacted. Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, typically emerge during the late teens or early twenties. Wisdom teeth sometimes cause problems because they are difficult to clean and can easily have trouble coming in in the first place. These are some of the reasons why removing wisdom teeth during young adulthood is so common. However, some people don’t have them removed right away, especially if they have come in normally. Unfortunately, other problems can emerge as the teeth do- like pericoronitis, an infection of the gum near the wisdom teeth.
What is Pericoronitis?
Nearly all gum irritation is caused by bacteria contained within plaque. As the wisdom teeth begin to emerge, the gum is very sensitive and prone to infection. If proper cleaning does not take place, the gum tissue will become swollen and infected over time. Pericoronitis is most common when the wisdom teeth do not come in all the way, leaving a small opening that is vulnerable to oral bacteria.
Pericoronitis can be extremely uncomfortable, resulting in swelling of the gums near the wisdom teeth. People with pericoronitis may experience pain, an unpleasant taste in the mouth, swollen lymph nodes, and even swelling in the jaw, cheeks, and neck if the condition is advanced enough.
The condition can be extremely painful and disruptive to everyday life, so it’s important to seek treatment as soon as you notice symptoms of pericoronitis. Caught early, it’s much easier to clean the area and remove bacteria, preventing a great deal of discomfort and inconvenience.
More advanced pericoronitis requires additional treatment, which may include antibiotics. Sometimes, oral surgery to remove the wisdom teeth is needed as both a treatment and precaution. The condition can be extremely painful and disruptive to everyday life, so it’s important to seek treatment as soon as you notice symptoms of pericoronitis. Caught early, it’s much easier to clean the area and remove bacteria, preventing a great deal of discomfort and inconvenience.
Preventing Gum Infections
The wisdom tooth removal will differ based on the status of the teeth. Wisdom teeth that have fully erupted can be removed like any other tooth. Impacted teeth (those that have been blocked from coming in by surrounding teeth or that do not have enough space to fully erupt) and that have not come up at all will require more surgery. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause other problems too since cavities are typically not filled on wisdom teeth, and they are prone to development since the area is difficult to keep clean. In the end, about 85 percent of adults have their wisdom teeth removed at some point.
While the recovery from the procedure does involve mild discomfort, choosing the right oral surgeon will make the process go much more smoothly. It’s important to choose a skilled surgeon who makes you feel comfortable and at ease.
While it’s not always possible to prevent all gum inflammation, there is a way to prevent pericoronitis, and that is by removing your wisdom teeth. By doing so, food particles, plaque, and bacteria can no longer become stuck in this hard-to-reach area. Wisdom tooth removal is a very common procedure and one that most dentists recommend, regardless of whether or not you’ve had pericoronitis.
The Right Provider
Finding the right surgeon to treat your pericoronitis doesn’t have to be difficult. Our specialists treat gum disease, place dental implants, and offer unparalleled care in wisdom tooth removal and periodontics. Call our Miami dental office today to schedule your appointment.