Gum Problems -- Gums appear red and swollen and are very susceptible to bleeding. Painful gums make it difficult to eat, speak and brush your teeth.
Mouth Ulcers -- Open sores appear on the gums between teeth and along the gum line.
Gray Film on Gums -- A layer of gray film formed from decomposed gum tissue covers the gums.
Bad Breath -- Not only will you experience a bad taste in your mouth, but others will notice it too.
Non-Dental Symptoms -- Trench mouth may also be accompanied by a fever and swollen lymph nodes in your head, neck and jaw.
When not treated, the infection will spread beyond the gums, destroying the jawbone and leading to tooth loss. Trench mouth can also damage other soft tissues in your mouth, including the cheeks and lips. Just like other forms of gum disease, trench mouth may affect your overall health -- the infection can enter your bloodstream via your gums and attack other parts of your body.
Getting Out of the Trenches
Luckily, trench mouth can be cured. Once diagnosed, dentists often prescribe antibiotics to kill the infection, and provide a gum disease treatment to help gums heal. Your dental treatment may start with a cleaning to remove any debris from the oral cavity. Scaling and root planing is needed to remove bacteria, dental plaque and dental tartar from below the gum line. In extreme cases, gum surgery may be needed to repair damaged gum tissue. At-home care is extremely important to a speedy recovery. Pain relievers may be prescribed to make brushing and flossing easier, which then helps prevent trench mouth from returning.
Even if you don't have to worry about trench mouth, it's important to take care of yourself. You may not be susceptible to trench mouth, but you do have a much greater chance of suffering from its cousin, gum disease. Proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits will keep all types of dental problems where they belong -- in the trenches!