Trench Mouth is an extremely serious form of gingivitis, a gum disease. It is common among those who suffer from a poor diet and poor dental hygiene. It is seldom seen today, in the more prosperous nations. Left untreated the damaging effects of trench mouth can spread into adjacent tissue and bone.
Trench Mouth was given its name during world war one when the condition was rampant among troops stationed overseas. Trenches were often dug for protection, and troops lived in and fought from these trenches for days and often weeks at a time. The trenches grew filthy and unsanitary, and the dental hygiene of these men was, for obvious reasons, often neglected. Nutrition was poor, and there was a scarcity of fresh fruits and vegetables. Many of the troops smoked and all lived under stressful conditions. All these factors contribute to the development of trench mouth.
Today, modern supplements and transportation techniques, ensure that troops are better cared for when in battle.
Trench mouth is caused by bacteria. Although the mouth always contains some bacteria, too many harmful bacteria can cause infection. This infection, unchecked, begins to destroy the delicate tissue of the gums.
Symptoms of trench mouth include pain, redness, and swollen, bleeding gums. Ulcers will form along the gum line, turning into deep fissures or ‘trenches’. there will be a foul taste in the mouth, bad breath, and a greyish film over the gums, indicating decay. As the disease progresses, teeth will become loose and fall out, there may be fever, and it may become difficult to eat, swallow, and even talk.
Those, whose immune systems are compromised for any reason, along with those who are malnourished, are more likely to suffer from trench mouth, as are those who fail to treat mild gingivitis.
Since trench mouth is now rare among developed nations, it is up to the individual to safeguard themselves. If you have any concerns about the condition of your mouth, consult your doctor or dentist. Ask questions and make sure you understand fully any health problems you have and how they need to be treated.
To diagnose trench mouth, a dentist will need to first examine the teeth and gums, and possibly take x-rays, which will enable him/her to check for bone damage. Blood tests may be suggested in order to eliminate any contributing condition or disease.
The treatment for trench mouth starts with the administration of antibiotics to control the bacteria. If necessary, pain medications (over the counter or prescribed) may be used. The teeth will then need to be professionally cleaned, and any dead tissue surgically removed. When the gums begin to heal, the teeth will need to be properly cleaned, again professionally, below the gum line. Your dentist will suggest a mouth wash, specifically designed, to control bacteria, aid healing, and decrease discomfort.
There are several things that can be done to prevent the possibility of trench mouth.
1. Practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss well once daily.
2. Eat a good diet, rich in natural foods. Limit your intake of sugar, and sticky snacks.
3. Visit your dentist at least once a year and have your teeth cleaned, as he suggests.
4. Do not smoke.
5. Find ways to control the stress in your life.