Did you notice a gum flap over your wisdom tooth? When our third molars come in, they bring forth a lot of problems, such as swollen gums and infections. The loose gum flap over the wisdom tooth site is also known as the dental operculum. Carry on reading to know all about this phenomenon.
What is the Gum Flap on My Wisdom Tooth?
When a muscular flap covers the opening of your tooth, it is referred to as a dental operculum. In other words, it may look like gum tissue spread over the crown of the tooth. Many times, wisdom teeth grow at odd angles. An operculum may be noticed over an impacted or partially erupted tooth.
Impacted wisdom teeth occur due to insufficient space in the jaw or incorrect angle. As a result, a protective layer of gum tissue forms over the tooth. Infection and swelling in the operculum are common, which often leads to pain as well as swelling. You might require treatment in the affected area to remove the gum flap on the wisdom tooth, or complications can take place. Usually, treatment involves wisdom tooth extraction and a surgical procedure for the dental operculum.
What Happens if You Do Not Remove Dental Operculum
Once the wisdom tooth extraction is over, you might toy with the idea of leaving the dental operculum as it is. However, dental professionals recommend removing the gum flap on the wisdom tooth since it can affect recovery and increase the likelihood of an infection.
Treating Gum Flap Over the Wisdom Tooth
It can be worrisome to notice the gum flap on your wisdom tooth, but your dentist will have the solution. Here are some ways to treat dental operculum:
- Lukewarm Salt Water Rinses: Saltwater rinses have amazing benefits when it comes to oral health. When you rinse your mouth using lukewarm saltwater, it could help soften the gum flap, which helps it fall off on its own.
- Topical Medications: Another way to speed up the recovery is with the help of topical medications. Therefore your dentist might recommend some anti-inflammatory or antimicrobial medicines to treat the gum flap on the wisdom tooth.
- Surgery: Sometimes, the dental operculum requires surgical removal. The dental professional will perform the removal in a dental office by creating minor incisions on the operculum and removing it gently.
In short, for some people, topical medications and lukewarm salt water rinses might work. Some cases, though, require surgical intervention to remove the gum flap. If you avoid treatment, bacteria and food debris can collect, leading to an infection.
A gum flap on the wisdom tooth usually develops in case of impaction and weird angles. It often causes discomfort and pain, which is pretty frustrating to deal with. Your oral surgeon can offer multiple treatments for the dental operculum, ranging from saltwater rinses to topical medications to surgical removal.