Pericoronitis is a condition that normally involves the wisdom teeth, otherwise known as the third molars. The wisdom teeth erupt from the gums later in life than the rest of the teeth. When this happens, it is possible for bacteria to become trapped in the surrounding tissue, which can cause an infection.
Here are three common symptoms of pericoronitis, as well as the reasons you should treat them seriously.
Pain is a common symptom of pericoronitis. Unfortunately, people will typically experience pain during the eruption of a wisdom tooth, so this is one symptom that often escapes people's notice. As with the general pain experienced when wisdom teeth are coming through, you'll find that the pain will increase when you bite down. However, you may notice that the pain continues to get worse after a few days instead of abating, and it may radiate outwards to the rest of the mouth.
2. Pus and Bad Breath
When any infection occurs within the mouth, bad breath can result. This is because of the way bacteria breeds, a process that releases foul-smelling compounds into the mouth. You may also notice a poor taste as a result of these compounds. A bad taste can also be caused by the leaking of pus, which can develop around the infection site and then leak out when pressure is placed around the tooth.
Pericoronitis often causes swelling along the gums. This swelling will naturally be more pronounced by the wisdom tooth. You might also find that you cannot open your mouth as wide as a result of swelling in or around the muscles that move your jaw or that the lymph nodes, which are found along the side of the neck, have become swollen as a result of fighting the infection.
Why Do Signs of Pericoronitis Demand Attention?
Pericoronitis is not always a serious condition, but it is one that demands the attention of a professional.
The most likely problem is severe pain, which can result due to the inflammation caused by infection. However, the infection can also spread to other parts of the body, including the airways. Any swelling to the airways is obviously going to be of concern. Of course, any problems with an erupting tooth can be grounds for an extraction.
In any case, it's best to have your tooth inspected by your dentist if pericoronitis occurs, and it's something you should have done as soon as possible.