What Is Pericoronitis? What Are Its Symptoms & Natural Treatment?

Pericoronitis refers to swelling and inflammation of the gum tissue, especially around the wisdom tooth i.e. the final set of molar teeth that appear between the ages of 18 to 25 years. As the wisdom teeth emerge from their roots, they tear through the gum tissue.

In many cases, food or plaque tends to get accumulated around the flap of the gum tissue, which surrounds the tooth.

If this plaque and food continues to accumulate at the site, it causes irritation and also provides bacteria an opportunity to grow, resulting in a gum infection.

In most cases the infection tends to remain restricted to the surround of the wisdom tooth, but in some cases, the infection and swelling may spread far beyond to the cheeks or the neck.

Symptoms Of Pericoronitis

The presence of symptoms would depend upon the severity of the infection,

  • Pain, which is usually throbbing in nature, is present around the inner aspect of the mouth. This pain is aggravated on attempting to chew. Usually pain is present only in one corner of the mouth.
  • Swelling of the gum tissue is common.
    The gum tissue appears red and inflammation and occasionally may be associated with discharge of pus. Pus discharge is usually associated with a complaint of bad taste in the mouth.
  • Depending upon the spread of the infection, the surrounding lymph nodes may also be swollen.
  • Some individuals may complain of difficulty in opening the mouth, especially after getting up in the morning.

In order to confirm the diagnosis, the dentist may perform a simple X-ray test to check if the tooth has erupted completely or partially and review the alignment of the tooth with the surrounding teeth. An Oropentogram (OPG) may be required to in case the dentist suspects some other deformity.

Natural Treatment For Pericoronitis

The treatment of pericoronitis may be performed at home, if the spread of the infection is limited to the tooth. Here are some essential tips that can be helpful,

  • Salt water gargling is considered to be very useful in the management of the condition. Salt water prevents the growth of bacteria (by promoting an alkaline environment) and also helps rinse out accumulated plaque or bacterial growths.
  • Prepare a paste by adding one teaspoon to turmeric, one tea spoon of raw honey and a few flakes of freshly crushed garlic. Apply this paste gently around the infected tooth. Gently massage, if the pain is not too severe. Turmeric and garlic have strong anti-inflammatory properties and can help in reducing the swelling and the pain. On the other hand honey acts as an anti-microbial agent and prevents the spread of the infection. Apply this paste about three to four times during the day.
  • Homeopathic drugs Bryonia is considered useful in treatment of gum pain. Kreostote is another drug which can be used, especially when the condition is associated with dental caries and discharge of pus from the affected tooth. These drugs need to be taken in low potency and should be repeated about three to four times in the day.
  • Maintaining dental hygiene will be crucial to prevent the growth of bacteria. Gargle and rinse your mouth after every meal. Brush your teeth twice a day. Ensure that you include fresh fruits, fresh vegetables in your diet. Vitamin C supplements can help to hasten the healing process.

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