Will pericoronitis go away on its own? It’s a question many have asked themselves when faced with this dental dilemma. Pericoronitis, a condition often associated with wisdom teeth, can cause a storm in your mouth. Let’s take a closer look. Together, we’ll explore the ins and outs of pericoronitis and its intriguing journey.
I. What is pericoronitis?
Pericoronitis is an oral health problem that generally affects young adults. It occurs when the gum tissue surrounding a tooth, particularly an incipient wisdom tooth, becomes swollen and inflamed.
The name is derived from “peri,” meaning around, and “corona,” meaning crown, thus indicating the inflammation around the crown of a tooth.
It may appear as a small, reddish-pink flap of gum tissue, often referred to as an “operculum,” that covers part of the tooth. This small flap creates a gap where food debris and bacteria can get trapped, causing further irritation, infection, and exacerbation of inflammation.
It’s a common phenomenon, especially when wisdom teeth don’t have enough space to come to the surface or “erupt” completely.
Not surprisingly, this tissue becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, eventually leading to infection – the hallmark of pericoronitis.
II. Will pericoronitis go away on its own?
Pericoronitis is a difficult condition. Whether it goes away or not depends on many factors.
Initially, a mild case may disappear on its own, especially if the trigger – food or debris trapped under the gum – is removed.
Rigorous oral hygiene practices, including careful cleaning and rinsing the mouth with warm salt water, can help in this case.
However, it’s essential to remember that pericoronitis often recurs, mainly because the underlying problem – an incompletely erupted tooth – persists.
In other words, as long as this gingival flap exists, the risk of infection persists.
Bacteria find it a sanctuary in which to multiply, leading to potential inflammation.
As a result, professional dental intervention is often necessary. In particular, if pain, swelling or other symptoms persist, don’t hesitate to consult a professional.
1. Can you leave pericoronitis untreated?
Not treating pericoronitis is certainly a somewhat risky approach. Admittedly, even the mildest problems can be temporarily alleviated by good oral hygiene.
Nevertheless, the persistent presence of the underlying cause – that delicate flap of gum – means that a recurrent flare-up is likely.
More importantly, uncontrolled pericoronitis can lead to serious complications.
Consideration must be given to the possibility of abscess formation, or even the spread of infection to other areas, including the throat or neck.
It’s no longer just a painful tooth;
it can lead to difficulty in swallowing or breathing. What’s more, ubiquitous bacteria can enter the bloodstream, leading to serious systemic infections.
So, can pericoronitis go untreated? We don’t recommend it.
2. How much does pericoronitis hurt?
The pain associated with pericoronitis is highly subjective and varies from person to person.
Discomfort may be mild, limited to a dull ache around the affected tooth, or it may be intense, radiating to nearby areas such as the jaw, throat or ear.
In some cases, patients report stabbing pain that can interfere with their daily activities.
In addition, pain can worsen when biting or chewing, especially if swollen gum tissue gets in the way.
Inflammation can also cause discomfort when opening the mouth or swallowing.
In conclusion, pericoronitis can indeed be very painful. However, pain levels vary according to the severity of the infection and individual pain tolerance.
3. Can you burst pericoronitis?
First, it is important to understand that this condition is not like a blister or boil that can be safely pricked or drained at home.
Pericoronitis refers to inflamed and often infected gum tissue around a partially erupted tooth.
If there is pus due to a serious infection, you should resist the temptation to pop it.
Because trying to do so could inadvertently push the infection deeper or spread it to nearby tissue.
In fact, such attempts could increase the risk of complications.
In case of significant swelling or pus, dental intervention is necessary.
A dentist or oral surgeon can safely drain the area if necessary, followed by an appropriate treatment plan, often including antibiotics or even surgery.
Essentially, you should never try to pop pericoronitis on your own.
4. does pericoronitis go away with antibiotics?
Pericoronitis is a dental condition sometimes characterized by inflammation and often by bacterial infection.
Antibiotics can therefore play an essential role in the management of inflammatory pericoronitis. However, they are not a universal solution for all cases.
There’s no denying that antibiotics, when prescribed by a dentist, can help control the bacterial aspect of the infection, effectively reducing inflammation and symptoms.
They are particularly beneficial when the infection has spread beyond the local area or when there are systemic signs such as fever or swollen lymph nodes.
However, keep in mind that antibiotics are usually part of a larger treatment plan.
They are usually used in conjunction with other dental procedures, such as irrigating the area, removing debris trapped under the gum or even extracting the affected tooth in severe or recurrent cases.
What’s more, antibiotics are incapable of resolving the underlying mechanical problem: the partially erupted tooth and the gum flap covering it.
So, while antibiotics can temporarily relieve symptoms and control infection, the risk of recurrence remains if the main problem is not resolved.
Consequently, antibiotics alone cannot permanently eliminate pericoronitis.
5. How do you get rid of pericoronitis naturally?
There are indeed home remedies that can help manage the symptoms and prevent the condition from getting worse.
First of all, maintaining excellent oral hygiene is paramount.
Regular brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash can keep your mouth clean and reduce bacteria buildup.
Warm salt water rinses are often recommended for their soothing and mildly antiseptic properties.
They can help keep the affected area clean, thus limiting bacterial growth.
However, it is crucial to remember that these measures can only relieve symptoms and possibly prevent the spread of infection; they are not remedies in themselves.
Some suggest clove oil due to its pain-relieving properties.
Applying a small amount to the affected area may reduce discomfort.
Additionally, a balanced diet rich in vitamin C and other immune-boosting nutrients can support overall oral health.
However, these natural methods should complement, not replace, professional dental advice and treatment.
6. Does salt water cure pericoronitis?
Saltwater is a beneficial aid in the management of pericoronitis. It’s a natural disinfectant that helps clean the mouth and soothe irritated gums.
Frequent rinsing removes debris trapped beneath the gums, reducing bacterial load and inflammation.
However, while beneficial, saltwater rinsing is not a panacea for pericoronitis.
It can certainly help manage symptoms and prevent further complications, but it doesn’t solve the underlying problem.
7. Does hydrogen peroxide cure pericoronitis?
Hydrogen peroxide is another frequently used antiseptic in oral care.
And when diluted properly, it can help clean the mouth and reduce bacteria.
Thus, it could be used as part of a complete oral hygiene routine to manage pericoronitis.
However, caution should be exercised as excessive or improper use can cause irritation and other side effects.
Also, like salt water, hydrogen peroxide helps manage symptoms and maintain oral hygiene but does not cure pericoronitis.
III. How long does pericoronitis last without treatment?
From the beginning, it is crucial to grasp the idea that the duration of pericoronitis without treatment depends largely on the severity of the disease and individual factors such as the body’s immune response.
In its mild form, with only localized inflammation and minimal discomfort, pericoronitis can temporarily resolve within a few days to a week, especially if proper oral hygiene is maintained and irritants such as trapped food particles are removed.
Nevertheless, this relief is often transient and recurrent episodes are common due to the persistent nature of the causative factors, primarily the partially erupted tooth and the overlying gingival flap.
In more severe cases, if an active infection is present and untreated, symptoms may persist for several weeks or even longer.
It is important to note that these times are approximations and can vary considerably from one person to another.
IV. Is there any pericoronitis complications?
Pericoronitis, when left unchecked, can lead to some fairly serious complications.
Localized complications can include the progression of infection leading to a dental abscess, characterized by intense pain, swelling and pus formation.
The infection could spread to surrounding tissues, causing cellulitis, a painful skin infection.
In rare cases, it could evolve into a condition known as Ludwig’s angina, which can cause swelling and pain in the floor of the mouth and, alarmingly, can impede breathing.
What’s more, if the inflammation and infection persist for an extended period, it can damage adjacent teeth or the jawbone.
Moreover, the constant presence of infections could potentially cause periodontal disease, affecting the health of the gums and other structures supporting the teeth.
Systematically, the bacteria responsible for infection have the potential to enter the bloodstream, leading to bacteremia or septicemia, serious conditions requiring immediate medical intervention.
V. Does pericoronitis go away after wisdom teeth removal?
Essentially, the answer leans towards a resounding “yes”. The logic here is relatively simple but intertwined with the fascinating healing processes of the human body.
You see, when the wisdom teeth, being the central culprits, are removed, it naturally follows that the source of the inflammation has been extracted.
This, quite intriguingly, creates the right environment for the body’s healing mechanisms to take over.
Subsequently, the gingival tissues begin their healing journey, gradually leading to the resolution of the disease.
VI. Can pericoronitis kill you?
As we’ve seen throughout this article, pericoronitis is an inflammation of the gum tissue surrounding a partially drilled or impacted tooth, usually a wisdom tooth, and is not usually life-threatening.
However, if left untreated, it can lead to serious complications.
Infection can spread to the throat or neck, leading to life-threatening breathing difficulties.
In addition, the infection can spread to the bloodstream, a condition known as sepsis, which is a medical emergency and can be fatal if not treated promptly.
VII. Is pericoronitis contagious?
Pericoronitis is not contagious.
It is not transmitted from person to person like a cold or flu.
However, the bacteria that cause pericoronitis can be transmitted through saliva. This means that even if you can’t catch pericoronitis from someone else, it’s possible to be exposed to the bacteria that cause it through activities such as sharing utensils or kissing.
It’s important to note, however, that just because you’re exposed to these bacteria doesn’t mean you’ll develop pericoronitis.
VIII. How does pericoronitis affect wisdom tooth eruption?
When a wisdom tooth is partially erupted, a flap of gum tissue may remain on the tooth.
This flap can make it difficult to clean the area properly, leading to an accumulation of bacteria and food debris.
In some cases, pericoronitis can interrupt the eruption process of the wisdom tooth.
Inflammation and swelling can physically obstruct the path of the tooth, preventing it from fully emerging.
In other cases, the condition may occur after the tooth has partially erupted, with inflammation and infection developing in response to trapped bacteria and debris.
IX. Can pericoronitis cause bad breath?
This is because pericoronitis can lead to bad breath, a condition medically known as halitosis.
This is mainly due to the bacterial infection associated with pericoronitis.
The bacteria involved in the infection produce volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs), which are primarily responsible for the bad odor.
When a wisdom tooth has partially erupted, it creates a pocket where food particles and bacteria can accumulate.
This area is difficult to clean effectively, allowing bacteria to grow.
The bacteria break down the trapped food particles, leading to the production of these VSCs.
The result is persistent bad breath which is often one of the first noticeable symptoms of pericoronitis.
X. How can I prevent pericoronitis?
Preventing pericoronitis mainly involves maintaining good oral hygiene.
Regular brushing and flossing remove food particles and bacteria that can lead to infection.
Using an antibacterial mouthwash can also be beneficial.
However, even with excellent dental care, pericoronitis can sometimes occur, particularly in people with partially erupted wisdom teeth.
In such cases, regular dental check-ups are essential. The dentist can monitor the condition of the wisdom teeth and surrounding gums, and suggest early treatment if signs of pericoronitis appear.
In some cases, if wisdom teeth are a recurring problem, the dentist may recommend their extraction.
This is often the best way to prevent future episodes of pericoronitis.