Signs and Symptoms of Pericoronitis

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Sep 15, 2011

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Signs and Symptoms of PericoronitisPericoronitis is a dental disorder wherein the gum tissues around the molar tooth become infected and swollen. This problem occurs when wisdom teeth is only partially erupt. This partial breakthrough of gum leaves opening for bacteria and causes infection. The possible causes of pericoronitis are poor hygiene and mechanical trauma on molar tissues that can cause inflammation.

When plaque or the bacterial layer (that remains on teeth after brushing) gets into flap of gums around teeth, it irritates the gums and leads to pericoronitis. In the severe stages of pericoronitis, swelling and infection extends beyond the jaw and also effect neck and cheeks.


Symptoms of Acute Phase of Pericoronitis

In its early stage pericoronitis is very similar to normal teething. The main symptoms of acute phase of pericoronitis include:

  • Severe throbbing pain.
  • Extra oral swelling
  • Restricted mouth opening.
  • Purulent discharge from pericoronal space.
  • Halitosis, leucocytosis and malaise are also common in some cases of pericoronitis.
  • In addition patient may also notice sloughing or ulceration around the operculum.

When the infection gets spread in sublingual and para- pharyngeal spaces then Dysphagia occurs. The person has difficulty in swelling food.


Symptoms of Sub-Acute Phase Pericoronitis

In the sub-acute phase of the systematic symptoms of pericoronitis become less acute.

  • Jaw stiffness.
  • Pus discharge.
  • Swelling.
  • Lymphadenopathy (in some cases)


Symptoms of Chronic Phase of Pericoronitis

Systemic features completely vanish till the chronic stage of pericoronitis, except for the state of severe exacerbation. In chronic phase of pericoronitis, patient report dull pain and bad taste in oral cavities.

  • Dull pain.
  • Unpleasant taste.

When intraoral periapical radiographs one can easily identify bony defect around the third molar.


Diagnosis of Pericoronitis


If you report pain or swelling in near your wisdom tooth then your dentist will first physically examine the area. If there is any partially erupted teeth or presence of a gum flap then you dentist will advise for an X-ray. This is done to determine the alignment of the wisdom teeth and the treatment is given accordingly.


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