My Gums Behind My Molars Hurt

Dental Sealants

Pain behind your molars may indicate pericoronitis. It’s a common dental issue that Michael Mabry DDS MAGD can treat.

What is pericoronitis?

When your wisdom teeth start to erupt, and there’s insufficient room for them, they create a flap of tissue next to your tooth. Unfortunately, the flap traps food and debris causing it to be a hotbed for bacteria. If the tissue becomes inflamed, it’s known as pericoronitis. It occurs around a wisdom tooth under the gums.

What are the symptoms?

Pericoronitis can cause painful and swollen gum tissue in the affected tooth. The reason for this is that it’s difficult to eat and bite down without your teeth touching the swelling tissue.

Another indication is that you have a bad smell in your mouth. Discharge of pus may also occur near the affected tooth.

Those are just minor symptoms of this condition. In some patients, they experience severe symptoms, such as swollen lymph nodes, muscle spasms and swelling of the face on the affected side.

How to diagnose it?

Typically, patients of Michael Mabry DDS MAGD goes to his office complaining that their gums behind their molars hurt. When you come into his office with the same complaint, he’ll first examine your mouth. If he sees that your gum tissue in the affected area is inflamed with a partially erupted wisdom tooth, then he’ll diagnose you of having pericoronitis.

The treatment will include antibiotics and rinse your mouth with salt water solution. It usually goes away within seven days. Now, if the tooth doesn’t come in thoroughly, then this condition recurs. It’s also true if food and bacteria build up under the gum.

Are there ways to prevent it?

You need to brush and floss around the erupting wisdom teeth to prevent pericoronitis. Doing so will ensure that food and bacteria won’t accumulate under the gums. In some cases, however, this trick won’t work.

For that reason, your dentist may have to remove the flap of gum tissue. Even if it’s been removed, the flap can still grow back. If that happens, the wisdom tooth may have to be eliminated.

What are the treatments available?

It can be challenging to treat pericoronitis. The reason for this is that the flap doesn’t go away until the wisdom tooth emerges entirely and naturally. That’s why the usual treatment is to remove the tissue or the tooth.

Your dentist will have to clean the area thoroughly to remove the food and pus that have accumulated around the area. The damaged tissue will also have to be removed. You’ll be given antibiotics to treat the infected area first before removal of the damaged tissue or the wisdom tooth.

You also need to keep the area clean. In that way, the problem won’t recur. Cleaning involves brushing and flossing daily. You must also rinse your mouth with water. All of these steps may prevent food from getting stuck under the flap.

Your dentist will determine whether or not your erupting tooth will have to be removed to relieve your pain and resolve the situation. If he thinks that the wisdom tooth will erupt fully without problems, he’ll leave it alone.