What is a trench mouth?

29 May 2017
Comments: 0
29 May 2017, Comments: 0

A trench mouth is a severe form of gum infection brought about by the buildup of bacteria in the mouth. The condition is characterized by bleeding, painful gums and ulcers in the gums.

The mouth naturally contains a healthy balance of fungi, bacteria and viruses. Nevertheless, poor dental hygiene will allow harmful bacteria to thrive. It is important to note that bleeding, red and sensitive gums are the usual indications of gingivitis.

What are the causes?

Trench mouth is triggered by gum infection due to the large amounts of harmful bacteria. If an individual has gingivitis, he/she is at higher risk for developing this advanced form of infection.


Trench mouth is triggered by gum infection due to the large amounts of harmful bacteria.

The condition is also associated to the following risk factors:

  • Smoking
  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Poor nutrition
  • Stress
  • Diabetes
  • Weakened immune system
  • Infection of the teeth, mouth or throat

If left untreated, the infection worsens and even damage the gum tissues. This can lead to various issues including ulcers and possible tooth loss.

Indications of trench mouth

Even though the symptoms of trench mouth strikingly resemble gingivitis, they are likely to progress more rapidly such as:

  • Fever
  • Bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Crater-like ulcers in the mouth
  • Bleeding as a response to irritation or pressure
  • Pain in the gums
  • Grayish film on the gums
  • Gums that are swollen, red or bleeding


With prompt treatment, trench mouth can be treated in just a few weeks. Antibiotics are part of the treatment which aims on stopping the infection from spreading further along with pain medications, professional dental cleaning and maintaining proper oral hygiene.

Proper brushing as well as flossing of the teeth at least 2 times in a day are vital in managing the indications of trench mouth. Warm salt water gargle or rinsing using hydrogen peroxide can relieve the pain of the inflamed gums as well as help get rid of dead tissue.

In addition, it is vital to avoid smoking and eating spicy or hot foods as the gums heal.

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