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Dental Implants: A Guide for Seniors

If you are a senior considering dental implants, you may have to worry about issues other dental patients don't have to think about. For example, you may need more time to recover after receiving your implants. My name is Jodi, and I've been working with seniors for years. I decided to create this blog to help the seniors I can't meet in person. In this space, I'm going to post entries on everything related to dental implants and seniors. From tips on flossing implants after arthritis has claimed some of your dexterity, to guiding you through the implants-vs-dentures debate, this blog is designed for you. Thanks for reading. I hope you find what you need!



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Dental Implants: A Guide for Seniors

3 Signs You Have Pericoronitis

by Jimmy Carter

If you have a wisdom tooth coming through, then your dentist may keep a watching brief on the tooth to see how it does. They don't want to remove the tooth at the moment, but they think that this might be necessary down the line.

For the time being, they tell you to clean the tooth carefully and to look out for unusual problems. They warn you to watch for symptoms that might mean that you have an infection known as pericoronitis. How can you tell if you have pericoronitis?

1. You Have Gum Problems Around the Tooth

Pericoronitis usually develops around gum tissue flaps that form on or around wisdom teeth that have trouble erupting correctly. Food and bacteria stick in the flap, which can cause an infection.

If this happens, you'll usually notice changes to the gum around the troublesome tooth. So, for example, you may experience the following problems:

  • The gum feels or looks tight or swollen.
  • The gum is sore when you brush around the tooth.
  • The gum hurts when you eat on the area or bite down on it.

In some cases, pus develops in the flap area. This is harder to spot as wisdom teeth are at the back of the mouth.

2. Your Mouth Tastes or Smells Different

If food gets stuck under gum tissue, it starts to rot as it attracts bacteria. This creates a nasty taste in the mouth and an unpleasant smell.

This taste and this smell tend to be constant; they may go away temporarily after you clean your teeth or use mouthwash, but will return later. They might also get worse if an infection takes hold in the area.

3. You Have Problems in Other Places

If pericoronitis takes hold, the infection can spread. As well as affecting your gum and teeth, you may also get other symptoms around the area.

For example, you may feel that your jaw on that side of your face is tight or feels different. Your face might swell near the tooth, and the lymph nodes on that side of your neck might enlarge.

If you have any of these symptoms, make an appointment to see your dentist. If you have symptoms in your face, jaw or neck, then call for an emergency appointment as you may need to go on antibiotics.

Even minor symptoms need quick treatment so that things don't get worse. Your dentist may simply need to clean the flap out; however, in some cases, they may want to remove the flap or the tooth itself.