Pericoronitis is the inflammation, swelling and infection of the gum tissue surrounding the wisdom teeth, which are located as the third and final set of molars that usually appear in your late teens or early 20s. It is most commonly found around the lower wisdom teeth.

What causes pericoronitis?

The primary cause for pericoronitis is accumulation of bacteria in and surrounding the gum tissue. Usually, the tooth is only partially exposed (soft tissue impaction) and has excess gum tissue that overlaps the tooth. Bacteria and food debris get trapped in the space between the tooth and the overlapping gingiva.


What Does Pericoronitis Look Like?

If you have inflamed, red, or swollen gums surrounding your wisdom teeth that may or may not be draining pus, then you may have pericoronitis. For proper diagnosis of pericoronitis, you should visit the dentist and the dentist will exam the wisdom teeth and check for signs of and the appearance of pericoronitis.

The top 5 pericoronitis symptoms are:

  • Inflamed Gums
  • Red Gum Tissue
  • Swollen Gum Tissue
  • A Gum Flap
  • Draining Pus
what pericoronitis looks like

Does pericoronitis go away on its own?

Unfortunately, pericoronitis won’t go away on its own. If it goes untreated, it can become dangerous after only a couple of weeks. Typically, either the flap of tissue or the wisdom tooth needs to be removed. If an infection is present, an antibiotic will be needed, as well. By properly caring for your gums and having the wisdom tooth removed you can easily fix and recover fully from pericoronitis.

Can you get rid of pericoronitis at home?

While you can treat pericoronitis if it hasn’t progressed to far from home, it’s best to have an examination and treatment from your dentist to fully recover from pericoronitis before it gets out of hand. Home remedies for pericoronitis include:

  • over-the-counter pain relievers;
  • warm salt-water rinses;
  • oral water irrigators;
  • good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing.

Is pericoronitis contagious?

While sharing food and drinks or kissing can transmit “bad” bacteria to your mouth that contribute to gum disease, gum disease on its’ own is not contagious.

How Long Does Pericoronitis Last?

Symptoms of pericoronitis can last about two to three weeks depending upon the tooths ability to come through. Relief from pericoronitis symptoms after dental treatment typically occurs within a week. This also varies depending upon whether the patient has acute or chronic pericoronitis. If an operculectomy is needed, the tooth will support better cleaning to the affected area and prevent food debris and bacteria from building up between the erupting tooth and the gingiva flap. However, even with the gingiva flap removed, the gingiva may regrow and cause a similar problem.

Diagnosis and Treatment for Pericoronitis at Pickett Family Dental

If you’re looking to verify that you have pericoronitis or receive treatment for pericoronitis, then visit us at Pickett Family Dental and we’ll clean out the bacteria that can lead to further damage and the necessity of expensive treatments. Call or schedule an appointment online for our Keller, TX Dental Office.