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Operculectomy

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Sometimes the back molars come in and the gum tissue over them is thick and does not recede out of the way, as normally occurs.  Closing the teeth together, eating, etc., can be difficult and painful. Food also has a habit of getting stuck under the flap of gum tissue. The infections that result (Pericoronitis) can be painful, as the swelling makes it impossible to close the teeth together and chew food without causing the opposing tooth to “chew” into the swollen gum.  Most patients we see with this are in their early teens. If the tissue overlying the tooth is small, it is called an operculum, and its removal is referred to as an operculectomy. If the tissue is large, it is referred to as pericoronal gingiva, and its removal is referred to as excision of pericoronal gingiva.

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