Dental Blog

Pain in the Corner of Mouth - Pericoronitis


What is pericoronitis?


Due to evolution, human jaws are getting smaller in size. Thus they cannot accommodate all 32 teeth and the last erupting teeth would not have sufficient space for eruption. Wisdom teeth or third molars being the most common teeth to erupt last, they would get locked partially or completely in the jaw bone. Partially erupted third molars are covered by gums no their chewing surfaces. This space allows for accumulation of food debris and is difficult to clean.


The collected food debris acts as the source for the growth of microorganisms which in turn induce irritation/inflammation of the surrounding soft tissues. This leads to swelling, pain in the gums around these affected teeth. This is pericoronitis.


Symptoms of Pericoronitis


  1. Pain at the corner of mouth

  2. Swelling in the soft tissues surrounding the affected teeth

  3. Swelling can spread to other regions like floor of mouth, joint of the lower jaw.

  4. Difficulty in opening the mouth also called as Trismus

  5. Difficulty in food consumption

  6. Fever

  7. Bad taste in the mouth due to pus draining out from infected gum tissue


Pericoronitis can be predominantly seen in people with


  1. Poor oral hygiene

  2. Pregnancy

  3. Respiratoty Tract infections


Types of Pericoronitis


It can be acute or chronic. Acute symptoms appear for short periods and are pretty aggressive. Chronic symptoms are associated with dull prolonged pain and mild swelling of soft tissues in the region.




  1. Antibiotics are suggested in acute conditions to relieve infection along with pain killers

  2. Chronic cases indicate removal of affected teeth




  1. This issue can be prevented by maintaining proper oral hygiene in the third molar region

  2. If the patient has suffered from this issue on the other side of the jaw, the erupting third molar could be removed to prevent the onset of Pericoronitis

  3. Mild cases can be managed at home by using warm saltwater rinses or medicated mouthwashes.


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