Wisdom Teeth or Pericoronitis

Erupting wisdom teeth are a common cause of pain, in people of European origin wisdom teeth usually erupt into the mouth between the ages of 17 to 21. These teeth can erupt much earlier in people of African origin. The developing tooth has a bag around the crown called the dental follicle. As the tooth comes through, this bag opens into the mouth and bacteria can enter. If the tooth becomes jammed in place because of lack of space you can get an ulcer under the flap of tissue covering the tooth and it becomes acutely inflamed and painful. This is made much worse if the opposing tooth bites into the inflamed tissue! Treatment involves assessing if there is enough room for the wisdom tooth. If there is the flap of tissue can be carefully removed, if not the wisdom tooth should be removed.