Trench Mouth – Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

Excerpt: Trench mouth got its name because it was common for soldiers...
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Trench Mouth

Trench mouth is a serious condition caused by infection, typical symptoms include inflammation, ulcers, pain, and bleeding.

Trench mouth got its name because it was common for soldiers in World War 1 to be diagnosed with this condition due to a lack of accessible oral care products. It is a painful condition that needs immediate attention.

What Is Trench Mouth?

Trench mouth is an oral infection that is often characterized by these symptoms:
 
  • Swelling
  • Inflammation
  • Bleeding gums
  • Pain & discomfort
  • Ulcers
  • Redness
  • Sensitivity
 
If these symptoms sound similar to gingivitis, that’s because trench mouth is an advanced form of gingivitis. Anyone can develop a trench mouth, not just soldiers. However, trench mouth is more commonly found in underdeveloped, less fortunate countries were access to dental care products. If this condition is not treated, it can lead to even more serious oral health issues like periodontitis.

The best way to defeat gingivitis is having a great oral care routine and consistently going to dental checkups at least twice a year.

 

What Causes Trench Mouth?

As mentioned previously, trench mouth is a severe form of gingivitis, so its causes are similar to that of gingivitis, these can include:

 

  • Emotional stress
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Poor nutrition
  • Smoking
  • Weak immune system
  • Throat, tooth, or mouth infections
  • HIV, AIDS, and diabetes
 

If you begin to notice any form of bleeding or swelling in your gums you will want to take more care of your teeth. Puffiness and bleeding are early signs of gingivitis, if you are careful, you can treat gingivitis at home fairly easily.

Diagnosis Of Trench Mouth

If you regularly go for checkups and have average, or even somewhat average levels of oral care, you will most likely never be diagnosed with trench mouth. Gingivitis is a very noticeable condition, early signs of gingivitis include:

 

  • Redness
  • Puffy gums
  • Bleeding
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Sensitivity
 

The majority of people in first-world countries can afford dental products and are knowledgeable enough about oral care to the point that they can handle gingivitis themselves. A dentist will look for ulcers, as well as a gray film in the mouth that can develop from poor oral care. Some other symptoms may include fever, swollen lymph nodes, gum tissue damage, and tooth decay.

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Trench Mouth Treatment Options

If you catch gingivitis in it’s early stages, you can treat it fairly easy without significant adjustment to your routine, to defeat gingivitis do the following:


  • Eat a balanced diet (less sugary-foods, more vegetables)
  • Brush your teeth carefully – If you show signs of gingivitis, get a soft-bristled toothbrush and slowly brush each tooth. Ideally you should be brushing for a minute or more.
  • Floss – You will want to do this gently as your gums will be sensitive and prone to bleeding.
  • Water floss – If you are squeamish about blood, water flossing may be a more viable option for you.
  • Mouthwash – Therapeutic mouthwash can get into areas floss can’t reach and kill bacteria there.
  • Carry floss with you – Floss immediately after meals so your gums are not irritated by the food.
  • Saltwater rinse – Salt kills bacteria, if you mix a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and swish it around your mouth, it will help stave off an infection.
  • Cook your own food – If you eat out often you may be eating more sugar and carbs in general then you realize. Restaurants will want their food to taste as good as possible, but it may not be the healthiest.
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