Pericoronitis (cont.)

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Are home remedies effective for pericoronitis?

Sometimes, mild symptoms of pericoronitis can be treated at home without antibiotics. Thorough and gentle brushing of the area with a small-headed toothbrush may help to break up the plaque or food that is trapped. Oral water irrigators can be effective in clearing out the debris trapped under the operculum as well. Rinsing with warm saltwater can help to soothe the area. Additionally, diluted hydrogen peroxide can be used as a rinse or irrigating solution to help reduce the bacteria in the area.

For severe pericoronitis where swelling and fever are present, home treatments are not advised and proper care should be sought with the appropriate health-care professional.

What is the prognosis for pericoronitis?

The prognosis for pericoronitis is usually very good. With timely care and treatment, pericoronitis can properly be managed or eliminated. The condition should resolve in approximately one week. If the initial cause of the infection is not treated, the condition will likely return.

Rarely, the infection can spread from the mouth into the head and neck and cause a serious complication called "Ludwig's angina." This can be a life-threatening condition where the airway could be blocked. Also, spread of the infection to the bloodstream (sepsis) can be life-threatening.

Is it possible to prevent pericoronitis?

Pericoronitis may be prevented with regular dental visits and preemptive care. The dentist can aid in keeping these potential problem areas clean and determine the need for removal of the operculum. Alternatively, the dentist can also monitor the eruption of the third molars and determine the need for early extraction of these teeth. Removal of the wisdom teeth prior to eruption can prevent pericoronitis.


Hazza'a A. M., et al. "Angulation of mandibular third molars as a predictive factor for pericoronitis." The Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice 10.3 (2009): 51-58.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/30/2015

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