Trench mouth is considered as a type of gingivitis albeit of a serious nature. This condition is characterized by pain, gums bleeding, infection and ulcerations. This mouth disorder is rare in developed nations but it is recorded in considerable in under developed countries that have low living condition and inappropriate nutrition. The disorder is also called as Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis (NUG) which is its actual scientific name. The mouth condition gets its name from World War I as it was commonly found in soldiers who were in trenches and had no access to proper dental products. The chances of affliction and detection of trench mouth is extremely low. Trench mouth is not a contagious condition.
Symptoms of Trench Mouth
- Severe pain in Gum
- Even slight pressure on gum can cause bleeding
- Red and swollen gums
- Experiencing pain while eating
- Gray layer appearing on the gums
- Ulcer between gum and teeth line
- Foul taste of mouth
- Halitosis or bad breath
- Fever as well as fatigue
- Swollen lymph node around neck, jaw or head
Causes of trench mouth
Mouth is home to several natural microorganisms such as virus, bacteria, fungi, etc. They are always present in the mouth but may not infect. The infection may take place when the immune system of our body (which fights these organisms and prevents affliction) becomes weak. This causes bacteria to invade and cause conditions such as Trench Mouth. Harmful bacteria grow out of control and causes infection of gums. This infection can damage the delicate gum tissues called ‘gingiva’ that supports teeth. Larger ulcers usually contain bacteria decaying tissues and food debris; these ulcers often form on your gums causing severe pain, taste difference and halitosis.
Trench Mouth treatment is often effective and successful. Within a couple of weeks complete healing can be experienced. In case if immune system is weakened then the healing may take longer time. Such cases are experienced in case of HIV/AIDS.
Trench Mouth medications may include:
- Antibiotics: Because Trench mouth also involves overgrown bacteria, doctors may usually prescribe antibiotics to treat bacterial infection and prevent it from metastasizing to surrounding regions.
- Pain reliever drugs: Doctor may also suggest over the counter medicine to relieve pain experienced by the sufferer. Getting pain under control is significant to help you resume in normal eating habit and ensure proper dental care, such as brushing teeth and flossing, etc. There are also topical pain relievers that can be applied directly on the gum.
- Antiseptic Mouth Wash: There are available mouthwashes that contain chlorhexidine that is beneficial for decreasing the bacterial count and helps in speeding the recovery.
- Cleaning your teeth and gums: One significant part of treatment is cleaning teeth and gum and maintaining their hygiene. Your mouth should be rinsed thoroughly using antiseptic solutions. When your gums become less tender then your dentist may perform advanced tooth cleaning procedure called scaling. This procedure helps in removing tartar and plaque from under your gum-line. It also helps in smoothing the rough surface that can catch bacteria. Once the condition is alleviated try to maintain hygiene by regularly rushing, flossing and rinsing your mouth with proper solution.
Though trench mouth usually heals with medicines and topical solutions; however, in case when the damages are intense the patient may need surgical procedure.
Diagnosing Trench mouth
Usually a dentist can easily diagnose the condition by examining the dental area and irregularities of gums. In some cases it may need x-ray imaging to determine whether any bone loss has occurred due to infection.
If it is not determined why trench mouth is developed then the dentist will recommend you to visit General Practitioner to determine the cause of the condition through advanced evaluations such as blood tests, etc. This will help in determining whether there is any underlying medical condition that is undiagnosed such as immune system issues like HIV, etc.
If the condition is not treated timely then it may lead to serious complications. Often people suffer from eating difficulties and swallowing issues. They may find it difficult to maintain hygiene of their mouth as they suffer from extreme pain while brushing teeth or flossing. Difficulties usually occur due to temporary or permanent damages and destructions of the gum-line tissues. If the condition is extreme it may also lead to bone damages that may eventually cause loss of tooth.
Though it is highly recorded in poor countries it can also occur in well developed countries. There are preventive measures that can help in avoiding the condition from occurring. Maintaining a hygienic state of mouth is the key to avoid trench mouth. Alongside, one should also avoid smoking, using tobacco etc, which drastically increases your chances of suffering from the condition. Following health diet plan and teeth friendly foods can help in preventing trench mouth problem. There are vegetables, whole grain, refined grains, health proteins, fish, legumes etc that can help in maintaining good dental health. Stress is also recorded to be harmful on emotional and physical aspects. Hence, reducing stress can help in overall wellbeing and if accompanied with aforementioned techniques it can help in avoiding dental issues. One can adopt yoga, exercises and sports to maintain overall health. However the two most important factors to maintain good oral health is by maintaining good hygiene of your mouth entirely and ensuring that you have a healthy immune system.