Revision as of 23:59, 2 December 2021 by Rossdonaldson1 (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)


Dental Numbering

Classic dental numbering.
  • Adult (permanent) teeth identified by numbers
    • From the midline to the back of the mouth on each side, there is a central incisor, a lateral incisor, a canine, two premolars (bicuspids), and three molars
  • Children (non-permanent) teeth identified by letters
  • Common landmarks:
    • 1: Right upper wisdom
    • 8 & 9: Upper incisors
    • 16: Left upper wisdom
    • 17: Left lower wisdom
    • 24 & 25: Lower incisors
    • 32: Right lower wisdom
Anatomy of the periodontium. The crown of the tooth is covered by enamel (A). Dentin (B). The root of the tooth is covered by cementum. C, alveolar bone. D, subepithelial connective tissue. E, oral epithelium. F, free gingival margin. G, gingival sulcus. H, principal gingival fibers. I, alveolar crest fibers of the periodontal ligament (PDL). J, horizontal fibers of the PDL. K, oblique fibers of the PDL.
  • Occurs during tooth eruption through the gingiva
  • Food and bacteria can accumulate between the erupting tooth and operculum (flap of gingiva) leading to infection and pain
  • The wisdom tooth (3rd molar) is the most common site of pericoronitis

Clinical Features

  • Pain at site of recent tooth eruption with operculum

Differential Diagnosis

Dentoalveolar Injuries

Odontogenic Infections



  • Clinical diagnosis


Mild to Moderate

  • Analgesia (often requires dental block)
  • Chlorhexidine rinses (a randomized trial showed green tea was equally effective)[1]
  • Penicillin VK 500mg PO QID OR clindamycin 300mg PO QID
  • ED debridement of the operculum or debris is usually not indicated


  • Severe infections require intravenous antibiotics and admission
  • Complications: Deep soft tissue infection


Mild to Moderate

  • Discharge with dental follow-up
    • Refer to dentist for surgical excision of the operculum and/or removal of the offending tooth


  • Admit

See Also


  1. Shahakbari R, Eshghpour M, Rajaei A, et al. Effectiveness of green tea mouthwash in comparison to chlorhexidine mouthwash in patients with acute pericoronitis: a randomized clinical trial. Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2014;43(11):1394- 1398