In the past, the wisdom tooth was used to detect the age of anybody. However, the time has played a fast one on us, thus making the theory null and void. Moreso, the eruption of the third molar also known as the wisdom teeth can be extremely painful; causing harm to the gum. The effect of the development of the third molar is called pericoronitis. In a better definition, Periconitis involves the inflammation of the soft tissues around the crown of a partially erupted tooth where the gum lays over the surface of the teeth. This causes the opposing jaw to bite on the gum thus causing pain. Pain may be mild or severe.

Pericoronitis: Causes 

As a result of the partial development of the third molar, the opening created allows the inflow of bacteria. This space created also anchors the food and further causes decomposition. Thus this can lead to the formation of an abscess under the operculum. Sadly, the infection can expand to other soft tissues, irritate the gums, and eventually lead to pericoronitis without treatment. When pericoronitis becomes severe, the inflammation can extend to the jaw, cheeks, and neck.

Can Pericoronitis become Severe

Pericoronitis affects the wisdom teeth, people in their mid-20s who are likely to develop their third molar are more susceptible.  Moreso, the presence of excess gingival tissue overlapping the third molar increases the risk of pericoronitis. The third molars located at the extreme end of the mouth are often difficult to reach while cleaning. As a result of this, the gum surrounding the third molar is prone to gum disease. 

Signs and Symptoms of Pericoronitis. 

 The most common sign of pericoronitis is pain. Other signs and symptoms include: 

  • Difficulty in chewing 
  • Gum swelling 
  • Bad taste 
  • Halitosis/mouth odor 
  • Swollen Lymph nodes
  • Trouble in activities involving the opening and closing of the mouth. 
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite. 

Diagnosis Of Pericoronitis

You would be required to first visit a dentist. On your first visit, asides the proper clerking and all. Our dentist would require you to have a dental x-ray in order to determine the position of the wisdom teeth and the potential severity of pericoronitis. However, our dentist would have ensured that he rules out every other cause of pain and inflammation before giving a pericoronitis diagnosis. In severe cases, our oral surgeon could fix you for surgery. 

Home Remedies. 

Proper oral hygiene remains the best home remedy in preventing any oral disorder.  Try as much as possible you consciously brush properly. Extend your toothbrush to the position of the third molar and brush with a roll method. Moreso, ensure that you drink water properly and gargle your mouth at intervals. To soothe inflammation and pain, you can rinse your mouth with warm saltwater or dilute hydrogen peroxide to reduce bacteria. Nevertheless, if symptoms persist please contact a dentist. 

Prevention of Pericoronitis 

The victory is pericoronitis can be prevented. We would advise a conscious and consistent practice to keep oral hygiene clean. Practice brushing twice daily with a fluoride contained paste as well as a soft brush. Ensure your floss properly and use a mouthwash. We also suggest that you visit a dentist at least twice a year. 


Sile360 dental clinic is located in Lagos and Abuja Nigeria. We are a customer-friendly, affordable dentist ready to help you perfect your smile. To book an appointment with us kindly contact us