Occurs due to food debris and bacteria (mostly dental plaque) building up beneath the operculum or by trauma. Prevalent in patients in their mid-twenties who have poorly erupting wisdom teeth.
Can be either acute or chronically recurring. Presentation is variable; signs and symptoms are dependent on severity. Usually, patients with chronic pericoronitis are asymptomatic or present with minimal symptoms, such as persistent inflammation in affected tooth area. Acute pericoronitis commonly presents with sudden onset of fever, swelling of the gum tissues around tooth, mouth pain that may worsen depending on severity, and a bad taste in the mouth due to abscess, all of which may indicate infection spread.
Complications include septicemia or head and neck space infections. In rare cases, pericoronitis may spread into the airway and require hospitalization.
In some patients, oral hygiene adjustments are sufficient to prevent further plaque buildup in affected area. In cases of infection, an antibiotic may be suggested. Over-the-counter NSAIDs may be helpful for pain management. Curative treatment involves tooth extraction or operculectomy. Prognosis is good.
K05.6 – Periodontal disease, unspecified
22240003 – Pericoronitis