Is It Normal To Have Gum Flap Over Your Wisdom Tooth?

Dec 30, 2022 | Blog

Is it normal to see that piece of gum flap over your wisdom tooth? No, it actually isn’t. It may feel like loose gum tissue upon touching and swells up as soon as you do it. You’re confused, and we know it; the entire phenomenon is the presence of dental operculum. Stay with us till the end to know what this issue is and why it happens.

Gum Flap on Wisdom Tooth

An operculum is a muscular flap covering the opening of your tooth. It is typically made up of gum tissue and can be found over the crown of the tooth.

In the case of wisdom teeth or third molars, an operculum may form over the tooth if it is impacted or partially erupted.

An impacted wisdom tooth does not fully emerge from the gum due to a lack of space in your jaw or because it is angled incorrectly. When this occurs, the operculum may form a protective covering over the tooth.

Opercula may become inflamed or infected, leading to pain and swelling in the affected area.

In these cases, treatment may be necessary to remove the operculum to address any underlying issues with the wisdom tooth.

This may involve a surgical procedure for operculum removal and extracting the wisdom tooth if it is severely impacted or causing problems.

Why can we not leave the dental operculum on the wisdom tooth as it is?

It is generally not recommended to leave the “flap of gum tissue” on a wisdom tooth after an extraction.

The operculum is typically removed during the extraction process to allow access to the tooth and to ensure that the extraction site is properly cleaned.

If the operculum is left in place, it may interfere with the healing process and increase the risk of complications such as infection.

Treatment Options For Gum Flap Over Your Wisdom Tooth

There are several treatment options for an operculum that has not fallen off on its own:

  • Warm salt water rinse: Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water several times a day may help to soften the operculum and encourage it to fall off on its own.
  • Topical medications: Your dentist may prescribe a topical medication, such as an antimicrobial or an anti-inflammatory, to help speed up the healing process and encourage the operculum to fall off.
  • Surgical removal: In some cases, the operculum may need to be surgically removed. This is typically done in a dental office and involves making a small incision in the operculum and gently removing it.

It is important to follow your dentist’s instructions for the aftercare of the extraction site and to manage the operculum. If you have any concerns or questions, get in touch with professionals from Champions Dental at (281) 866-0442.

Dr. Esteban Garza, DDS, MAGD

Dr. Esteban Garza, DDS, MAGD

Dr. Esteban Garza, a Texas native with roots in the Rio Grande Valley, boasts a diverse educational and professional background. After completing his Biology degree at Texas A&M, he transitioned from teaching to dentistry, earning his DDS from Baylor College of Dentistry. Dr. Garza’s commitment to excellence for over 15 years, is evident through his extensive education in various dental specialities, culminating in prestigious accolades like the Fellowship Award in 2016 and the Mastership in the Academy of General Dentistry in 2020, achieved by less than 2% of dentists. 

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