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Trench Mouth – Symptoms, Treatment, Pictures, Causes

Written by Dr.Mary
IN THIS ARTICLE:

What is Trench Mouth?

This is a very severe type of gingivitis which causes infection, bleeding, painful gums as well as ulcerations. Actually this problem is fairly rare in today’s world in developed nations, but it is quite common in countries where there is poor living standards and poor nutrition.


Trench mouth use to be known as “Vincent’s stomatitis”, “acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis” or ANUG as well as “necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis” or NUG. It earned the name trench mouth because of the pervasiveness amid soldiers fighting in trenches during WWI without any way to care for their teeth appropriately.

Trench Mouth Symptoms

The symptoms or signs of trench mouth include:

  • Bleeding from the gums when they are pressed very slightly
  • Gum pain which is severe
  • Swollen and red gums
  • Gray film on the gums
  • Pain when swallowing or eating
  • Crater-like ulcers or sores between the teeth and the gums
  • Bad breath
  • Foul taste in the mouth
  • Swollen lymph nodes around the neck, jaw or head
  • Fever

The symptoms of trench mouth develop quickly. An individual should see the dentist straightaway if they develop any symptoms. Most of the time, there may be signs of a gum condition other than trench mouth, such as periodontitis or gingivitis. Nevertheless, all types of gum disease can be severe and many are incline to get worse with no treatment. The faster an individual seeks care, the better the results and returning the gums to a healthy state as well as stopping loss of teeth and any damage to bone or other tissue.

Trench Mouth Causes

The mouth contains naturally many organisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. With trench mouth, the unsafe bacteria develop rapidly thru producing infections in the mouth and gums. This bacterial infection can terminate or damage the gum tissue or gingiva which support and surround the teeth. Ulcers which are huge and are filled with debris from food and bacteria and decay tissue from on the gums, cause severe pain, foul taste in the mouth as well as bad breath.

Exactly how these bacteria damage gum tissue is not known. But it is believed that toxins as well as enzymes created by the bacteria do play a part in this condition.

There are many factors which increase the risk of the development of trench mouth and these include:

Oral Hygiene which is poor

Not brushing and flossing regularly leads debris and plaque building up which allows harmful bacteria to grow.

Nutrition which is poor

Not eating properly and getting the correct nutrients makes it hard for the body to combat infection. Children who are malnourished in developing countries are especially in jeopardy of trench mouth.

Use of tobacco and Smoking

This harms the blood vessels of the mouth and gums

Throat, mouth or tooth infections

If an individual already has mouth problems such as gingivitis can cause infections to progress and get worse with trench mouth.

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Stress especially Emotional

Emotional stress weakens the immune system, making it hard for the body’s normal defenses to keep bacteria in check

A weak Immune system

Individuals with diseases that weaken the immune system or those undergoing treatment which can subdue the immune system are at a big risk, since the body cannot fight infections well. These include individuals with HIV/AIDS, mononucleosis or cancer.

Trench mouth occurs at any age, but it is more common in teens and adults 20s thru 40s. In countries which are developing and where malnourishment is common and good oral hygiene is rare, trench mouth occurs frequently in young children.

The problems and complications with trench mouth can be linked to or cause the following:

  • Problems swallowing
  • Trouble with eating
  • Pain in brushing teeth
  • Gum tissue destroyed
  • Progresses into oral diseases which are very advanced and can damage bone and gun tissue

Trench Mouth Treatment

The management of trench mouth is highly effective, and thorough healing can occur in only several weeks. But, healing can take longer if the immune system is compromised.

Medications

Since trench mouth involves bacteria, antibiotics are normally prescribed into to destroy the bacteria as well as prevent any infection from spreading.

Cleaning the gums and teeth

Treatment includes a complete cleaning of the gums and teeth. The dentist will remove any gum tissue which is dead – debridement – to help reduce pain in the mouth. As the gums begin to heal and are less tender, the individual will need to have a root planning and scaling. This removes tartar and plaque from beneath the gum line.

After cleaning, the gums will be very tender. The individual will need to rinse the mouth with hydrogen peroxide mouthwash, prescription mouth rinse or salt water.

Surgery may be necessary

If there is any extensive damage, the individual may need surgery to help heal this damage.

Trench Mouth Pictures

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