Trench mouth is a painful form of gum swelling (gingivitis). The term "trench mouth" comes from World War I, when the disorder was common among soldiers. The mouth normally contains a balance of different bacteria. Trench mouth occurs when there is an overgrowth of normal mouth bacteria. The gums become infected and develop painful ulcers. Viruses may be involved in allowing the bacteria to grow too much. Among adults, 50% to 90% have gingivitis (surrounding 3 or 4 teeth) in Israel.
Thorough tooth brushing and flossing must be done as often as possible, preferably 3 to 4 times a day. Saltwater rinses may be soothing to sore gums. The goals of treatment are to cure the infection and relieve symptoms. Good oral hygiene is vital to the treatment of trench mouth.Brush and floss your teeth thoroughly as often as possible, at least twice a day and preferably after each meal and at bedtime. The disorder can be quite painful until it is treated. Since trench mouth involves bacteria, antibiotics are normally prescribed into to destroy the bacteria as well as prevent any infection from spreading. If there is any extensive damage, the individual may need surgery to help heal this damage.