How to Treat Trench Mouth
Treat Trench Mouth Professionally
Trench mouth, or necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis, is a serious dental condition involving an infection of the gum tissues. Because it can progress deeper and cause tooth loss or damage to underlying bone, it is serious matter and treated as such by dentists.
The first treatment step will be to get a complete medical history and firm diagnosis. There may be a contributing cause or another condition that is related to the disease. Your dentist may ask about fever and palpate the neck area to see if the infection has become severe enough to have moved from the mouth into the body.
The condition will be evaluated by inspection, including x-rays to see any hidden damage. Once the extent of the infection and tissue damage is known, a treatment plan will be generated. This usually starts with a thorough teeth cleaning, sometimes under anesthetic to reduce pain. This step is important because plaque buildup give a place for bacteria to hide and can lead to a return of the problem if the teeth are not properly cared for.
After a cleaning, the treatment options depend on the nature and severity of the trench mouth. If there is dead tissue or an abscess, this will be drained and debris removed. The gums may have to get stitches to close up any defects, and if there is damage to teeth and bones beneath the gum line, this too will have to be addressed. Debridement is the process of removing dead tissue and when the damage is extensive, surgery may be the only recourse.
Some doctors prefer a course of antibiotics designed to kill anaerobic bacteria. These bacteria do not live where there is a high concentration of oxygen, but can find places in the mouth where they are protected from the air. Since this type of bacteria has been implicated in trench mouth, an antibiotic may be warranted. In some cases, a dentist may prescribe a course of antibiotics to knock down the infection and delay further work until a later appointment.
Once the immediate problems are addressed, you dentist will come up with an oral hygiene program. This will include rinses, regular brushing and flossing. You will have to return for a followup so the dentist can make sure the condition is healing.
If they feel that stress or diet is contributing to the trench mouth, your dentist will make recommendations for vitamins, a diet plan, or further care.
Treat Trench Mouth with Home Care
While true trench mouth is an infection that has progressed past the point where home remedies will cure the problem, prevention is possible. There are two main considerations. The first and primary preventative measure is proper oral hygiene. The current recommendation from the American Dental Association is to brush and floss at least twice a day. Your dentist may increase this during your treatment.
Along with oral care, you should eat a healthy diet and manage the stress in your life. Quitting smoking is recommended, and smokers are much more likely to develop trench mouth.
If you have seen a dentist, they will give you specific home-care instructions to treat trench mouth. These may include taking pain medications and following a liquid diet for a few days to minimize the pain from the treatment, which can make gums very sensitive. This would also mean avoiding hot foods (both temperature and spices), drinking plenty of water, and taking any prescribed antibiotics as directed.
Your dentist may also recommend a special toothpaste and brushing technique or home remedy type rinses, such as salt water or diluted hydrogen peroxide. There are also prescription mouth rinses that help with gingivitis. Follow-up appointments are the rule. It is important to gauge progress and prevent reoccurrence of the disease.