Lucky you Trench Mouth is making a comeback! That's right, after years of this misunderstood mouth disease being pretty much non-existent, dentists are seeing a resurgence of trench mouth symptoms, and people are becoming trench mouth statistics again. This is baffling to many health officials; its as if we suddenly went back to the Dark Ages and had a recurrence of bubonic plague.
Nobody is really sure why this condition is returning to American palates, although it may have something to do with the economy, which prevents individuals and families from maintaining health plans that include regular trips to the dentists. Fortunately, trench mouthdisease is highly curable and easily managed, once you have it.
If you're wondering why its named that, it comes from World War I, a war fought in trenches with no dentists and soldiers who, lacking proper dental care, allowed their mouths, palates and dental work to deteriorate as they spent the war in filth, cold and near-poverty. Trench mouth was only one of the many diseases they contracted.
Its actually a form of gingivitis, a painful red swelling of the gums caused by bacteria from food left lodged in the teeth. It is a very serious dental condition, by the way, which can cause painful gum infection, ulcers and even the loss of some teeth, as well as massive gum tissue damage. Symptoms of trench mouth / gingivitis include halitosis (bad breath), ulcers in the swelling gums, fever, pain and bleeding, especially in the spaces between teeth.
There are several treatment steps you can follow to arrest this disease and cure its effects:
First of all, if there is any burning sensation in the gums or if you suffer fever as a result of the trench mouth, there's probably substantial infection. Your dentist will need to prescribe antibiotics to reverse these effects. While these drugs are working on the infection, you should increase your brushing and flossing; instead of a mouthwash, however, the best method to remove diseased gum tissue is by rinsing your mouth out with salt water or diluted hydrogen peroxide.The pain will be with you for a while, so most dentists prescribe Lidocaine for mouth pain; if you prefer, simple analgesic aspirin will do the trick for many.
You should also increase visits to the dentists, particularly if he uses a hygienist for cleaning your mouth and gums: this sort of process should occur as regularly as every three months (dont wait six or longer if you have the infection!)
In addition to your stepping up the tooth care, you might also take this opportunity to re-create some of your habits in a more positive way, by planning good nutrition, ceasing from smoking, committing to regular exercise and trying stress reduction techniques.
Hang in there, stay on the meds, the cleaning schedule and the new lifestyle, and always consult your dentist if there are any changes in your symptoms, any increase of pain or redness / swelling, or if dizziness / fevers manifest themselves. Your dentist is your partner in dental health and wellness and he wants you to keep on smiling, so enlist him in your fight against this disease.
That way, you won't become a Trench Mouth statistic.