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Swollen glands and wisdom tooth pain?

Pericoronitis or any other form of infection (like a tooth abscess) is one of those issues that gets worse over time if left untreated.

As adults we are all veterans to the common cold. We can feel it creeping up on us when the headaches kick in and our glands swell up and become tender to the touch. Sometimes you’ll get a familiar pain in the back of the mouth and around the throat…but what does all this mean if things don’t progress past that point?

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You reach the third day of these symptoms and, while things haven’t developed into sore throats and sniffling noses, you find it painful to chew and can’t help but notice that something is not quite right in the back of your mouth.

Have you been experiencing:

  • Gum tissue that is swollen and painful to touch or when you chew?
  • A funny smell or taste in your mouth?
  • Any discharge of pus in the back of your mouth?

We understand this can be an extremely frustrating experience…but what’s even more frustrating is not knowing the cause behind all these horrible symptoms.

So what’s going on?

There’s a rather good chance that you are suffering from some form of infection. For those in their late teens and early 20s this is most likely something called pericoronitis. Never heard of it? Well, you must travel in circles with people who possessed friendly wisdom teeth! Simply put, pericoronitis is caused when your wisdom teeth are trying to push through. As they try to push through your gums, the tissue surrounding the tooth can become painful and inflamed.

If only part of the wisdom tooth erupts (or breaks the surface of your gums) you could be dealing with a little flap of troublesome gum tissue that works like a trap for food particles: thus, a bacteria wonderland! Pericoronitis can even occur in wisdom teeth that have yet to erupt at all.

It’s rather tricky like that…but thankfully it is easy to treat!


Pericoronitis can be diagnosed during a dentist check-up. You can visit your dentist in Lower Hutt to see and confirm that the cause of your discomfort is, in fact, pericoronitis.

We will ensure that the affected area is cleaned and remove any damaged tissue or pus before inspecting for more serious damage. If the area is indeed infected, you will most likely be prescribed some antibiotics. In some more serious cases, you may need to have your tooth extracted, but the dentists at Switch will ensure this is managed with professionalism and care.

Please don’t delay!

Unfortunately, pericoronitis or any other form of infection (like a tooth abscess) is one of those issues that gets worse over time if left untreated. Severe cases have even lead to hospitalisation as the infection spreads around the whole mouth.
Make a booking with your Lower Hutt dentist today and ensure your mouth stays infection free!

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