Home Dentistry Articles Trench mouth
Trench mouth is a polymicrobial infection of
the gums leading to inflammation, bleeding, deep ulceration
and necrotic gum tissue, there may also be fever. It is also
known as Vincent's stomatitis or acute necrotizing ulcerative
The common name was probably coined during
World War I when many soldiers suffered from the condition.
There are a number of other theories to the origin of the name.
The condition is caused by an overpopulation
of established mouth bacteria due to a number of interacting
factors such as poor hygiene, poor diet, other infections and
stress. Treatment is by the simple reduction of the bacteria
through improved oral cleaning and salt water or hydrogen peroxide-based
rinses. Chlorhexidine or metronidazole can also be used in addition.
Untreated the infection will lead to the loss
of teeth from the rotting gums and can spread, as necrotizing
stomatitis, into neighbouring tissues in the cheeks, lips or
the bones of the jaw. The condition can occur and be especially
dangerous in people with weakened immune systems.