Dental Treatment Options For Pericoronitis

Posted on: 31 July 2015

Periodontal disease usually stems from bacterial plaque that's left to fester due to improper oral healthcare. Pericoronitis is an infection that targets the gum area around an erupting wisdom tooth. The tooth's eruption can cause inflammation and a pocket where bacteria can take hold. Symptoms of pericoronitis include redness, swelling, pain, and pus discharge.

What are some of the potential treatment options for pericoronitis? Here are a few of the possibilities to discuss with your dentist or periodontist.

Wait and See Approach

The pericoronitis can remain a problem for as long as the tooth is erupting and irritating the overlaying soft tissue. But there are ways to keep it in check while waiting for the tooth to erupt.

Your dentist will likely perform a deep cleaning in the area, which can include the inside of any pockets that formed in the gums. You might also receive a prescription for an oral antibiotic and possibly a take-home antiseptic mouthwash.

If your dentist wants to take this wait and see approach, it's vital that you maintain proper oral healthcare at home to keep harmful bacteria to a minimum. You also need to keep any appointments your dentist requires for further checkups.


Is the wisdom tooth coming in impacted and causing the pericoronitis to flare up even worse? Your dentist might decide that an extraction is the best course of action. You will receive an oral antibiotic to clear up the infection before the extraction.

Impacted wisdom teeth can be easily removed via oral surgery. If you have more than one wisdom tooth erupting, your dentist might choose to remove all of the wisdom teeth at one time to prevent recurrences of pericoronitis.

Removing the wisdom teeth will still leave a temporary empty socket at the rear of the mouth. It's important to keep this socket and surrounding gums well cleaned after the extraction procedure.

Antibiotics and Grafting

Oral infections aren't always taken seriously by the patient, but untreated pericoronitis can cause serious damage to your mouth and risk spreading the infection throughout your body. Spreading infection might require a hospital stay with IV antibiotics to rid you of the infection.

Infection damage can include erosion of both the soft gum tissue and the underlying jawbone. The erosion can spread beyond the spot where the wisdom tooth erupts and cause problems for neighboring teeth. These problems might require a gum or bone graft for treatment. Speak to a local dentist (such as Ann L Ortega DDS) for more information.