Pericoronitis Treatment at Home | Is It Effective?

Pericoronitis Treatment at Home

Pericoronitis is tissue inflammation surrounding a third molar, a wisdom tooth. Pericoronitis commonly occurs in people in their 20s, with around 81 percent of those affected being aged between 20 and 29 years old. Most of the time, pericoronitis affects slightly impacted or invisible molars. Additionally, it involves lower molars more frequently than upper molars. 

Pericoronitis should be treated in a dental clinic. However, pericoronitis treatment at home is also possible temporarily. 

What are the Symptoms of Pericoronitis?

Symptoms of pericoronitis may change from acute to chronic. The common symptoms include inflammation and swelling of gums, fever, and body aches. 

Symptoms of Acute Pericoronitis

Acute pericoronitis occurs with severe pain occurring around the back teeth, the soreness of the gum tissue, and a lump in the throat during swallowing, along with pus discharge and even trismus (also known as lockjaw in which the jaw gets stuck at one point). 

Symptoms of Chronic Pericoronitis

Chronic pericoronitis is almost always accompanied by bad breath, an unpleasant taste in one’s mouth, and a dull pain that can persist for two days or more without considerable relief. Therefore, these symptoms help determine and administer the correct treatment to relieve the patient from any discomfort.

Risk Factors of Pericoronitis

Different elements are responsible for pericoronitis. It is specifically common in the 20-—to 29-year-old age group, when wisdom teeth are likely to appear. Bad oral hygiene routines create the right conditions for bacterial growth, raising the chances of having pericoronitis. 

Moreover, more gum tissue around the erupting tooth enhances its inflammation. That gum tissue can be affected by the opposing tooth constantly hitting it. The source of stress, like fatigue and emotional tension, impairs immune function even more, allowing the disease to infiltrate much easier. 

Also, hormonal changes during pregnancy are considered factors that increase the realization that you are developing pericoronitis; you can start following the pericoronitis treatment at home. 

How is Pericoronitis Diagnosed?

Your dentist will clinically examine your wisdom tooth and associated gums to see if it’s partially erupted, fully erupted, or impacted. An X-ray further helps in making an accurate diagnosis. The dentist needs to determine the cause of pericoronitis, which can be the erupting wisdom tooth or the opposing tooth (usually the upper wisdom tooth in case of pericoronitis of the lower tooth). 

What are the Complications of Pericoronitis?

The primary issues associated with pericoronitis are pain, inflammation, difficulty eating, limited mouth opening, and swelling. However, a severe condition that can occasionally occur in those who have acute pericoronitis is Ludwig’s angina. 

Ludwig’s angina results in swelling, infection, and inflammation of the throat, making it difficult for the patient to breathe. The disease spreads from the teeth and jaw to the neck and head. 

In rare instances, sepsis (blood infection) might occur due to pericoronitis. 

Pericoronitis Treatment at Home

If you have pericoronitis, you can imagine how painful it can be. However, you can do the pericoronitis treatment at home, which is non-invasive and easy to follow. Above all, it will comfort you and relieve your pain to some extent. 

Here are a few home remedies for pericoronitis:

Salt Water Rinses

Saltwater is a natural disinfectant and can help to reduce inflammation. Mix one teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of lukewarm water and swish it around your mouth for 30 seconds. Repeat this 3-4 times daily until the pain and inflammation subside. Some symptoms of pericoronitis need to subside, specifically limited mouth opening and swelling. Then, the tooth can be extracted. 

Cold Compression

A cold compress can help to numb the pain and reduce inflammation. Wrap a bag of ice in a towel or a bag of frozen peas and apply it to the affected area for 10-15 minutes. Repeat this every few hours as needed.


If the pain is severe, you may need to take over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Be sure to follow the directions on the bottle and never take more than the recommended dosage. After following the pericoronitis treatment at home, rush to the dentist as soon as possible.

Soft and Cold Diet

Eating hard or crunchy foods can irritate the inflamed tissue and worsen the pain. Therefore, it is recommended to consume soft foods like soup, pudding, ice-creams, fruit juices, and mashed potatoes until the pericoronitis has subsided.

Pericoronitis Treatment in the Dental Clinic

Your dentist will consider several factors when deciding how to treat your pericoronitis. The three treatment options are:

  • Managing or alleviating the pain near the molar
  • Removing the flap covering the tooth
  • Removing the tooth
  • Managing pain

If the tooth is expected to erupt fully, your dentist may decide to help you manage the symptoms without removing the flap or the tooth. In this case, the dentist might prescribe ibuprofen, flurbiprofen, or acetaminophen. Never consume medicines other than the recommendation of the dentist or your physician.

Your dentist will also clean the gum tissue around your tooth to prevent plaque and food particles from buildup. They may use local anesthesia gels to help with the pain during this process. In some instances, they can also prescribe antibiotics. 


The dentist may refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon if they decide the tooth should be removed. The flap sometimes grows back, and a second surgery is needed. Removal of the causative tooth usually rectifies the problem. It is removed if the upper wisdom tooth is causing pericoronitis in the lower jaw. 

How Long Does Pericoronitis Last?

Pericoronitis can last for a few days up to a couple of weeks, depending upon the severity of your condition. If it is mild, it might resolve in a few days with the help of pericoronitis treatment at home. However, it might become severe and last longer if you do not take care of it.


Pericoronitis treatment at home is beneficial. It includes maintaining oral hygiene, rinsing with mouthwashes, lukewarm salt water, etc. If it is not treated in time, pericoronitis can result in serious complications, some of which have been mentioned above. 

Contact us at Dr. Arthur Yeh & Associates if you are worried about pericoronitis or need dental care. Our professional staff is fully committed to maintaining your oral health and raising your standard of living. Book your appointment today!