Trench mouth is not a term you will hear often. However, it is a serious periodontal disease. The name originated during the First World War when it was more common among trenched soldiers. The disease was documented well before that time, however.
Trench mouth is not very common in modern times, but you can still get it under certain circumstances. If you don't take care of it soon, you could lose your teeth. Before that happens, you will likely experience chronic mouth pain, fever, and possibly fatigue. Here is more information about trench mouth and what you can do about it before you lose your teeth.
What Is Trench Mouth?
As said before, trench mouth is a form of periodontal disease. With this disease, the gums become severely infected and ulcerated. Another name dentists use for trench mouth is acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG). As its name suggests, the disease is related to gingivitis and can result in the death of gum tissue.
What Are the Signs of Trench Mouth?
People who get trench mouth tend to start with a mild case of gingivitis. Over time, and with further neglect, the tissue starts to break down, and ulcers may form. Your gums will bleed easily from any type of irritation. You may also experience bad breath. Severe cases can bring on fever and a feeling of malaise.
Who Gets Trench Mouth?
Trench mouth usually happens in younger people who don't take care of their teeth. You are also more likely to get it if you have an underlying health condition that affects your immune system. People with diabetes or HIV, for example, have a higher risk if they have poor oral hygiene. Smoking is another high-risk factor.
What Is the Treatment for Trench Mouth?
The main treatment for trench mouth is to clean up the mouth and reduce gum disease. If you haven't seen the dentist in a long time and have a lot of tartar, you may need full-mouth debridement. Salt rinses and pain relievers will make you feel more comfortable. You may need more frequent cleanings until the infection clears up.
If you keep up with dental hygiene, you will likely never get trench mouth. But don't skip your dental appointments. Even with the best home routine, you can still get plenty of tartar buildup. Tartar buildup could affect your gums and lead to periodontal disease. Therefore, see your dentist at least twice a year or more often if the dentist recommends. Proper tooth and gum care greatly increase your chance of keeping your teeth.