What is trench mouth?

Trench Mouth Treatment

Once a dentist confirms a trench mouth diagnosis through X-rays or a throat swab culture, treatment consists of medication, teeth cleaning and, in rare instances, surgery. Antibiotics are frequently prescribed to get rid of the bacteria and prevent the infection from spreading. A person with trench mouth may also need over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers, which are important so that he or she can eat properly and resume good dental care habits [source: Mayo Clinic].

Teeth and gums are thoroughly but gently cleaned to remove dead gum tissue and help reduce pain and swelling. Once the inflammation subsides, the cleaning is followed by scaling and root planning, during which the dentist first removes plaque and tartar from beneath the gum line and then smoothes roughened teeth surfaces [source: Mayo Clinic].

To make treatment as effective as possible, people with trench mouth should take the following precautions [source: PubMed Health]:

  • Don't smoke or use other tobacco products.
  • Avoid carbonated beverages and alcohol.
  • Don't eat spicy or very hot foods.
  • Take all medications as recommended.
  • Stay hydrated.

Trench mouth is easily prevented by good oral hygiene and other healthy habits, including brushing at least twice a day, flossing, getting regular dental cleanings, avoiding tobacco, eating a healthy diet and managing stress [source: PubMed Health].

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More Great Links


  • Hendrick, Bill. "Brushing Teeth May Keep Away Heart Disease." WebMD. May 27, 2010. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/news/20100527/brushing-teeth-may-keep-heart-disease-away
  • Mayo Clinic. "Trench Mouth." (Sept. 19, 2011) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/trench-mouth/DS00457
  • PubMed Health. "Trench Mouth." Feb. 22, 2010 (Sept. 19, 2011) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002039
  • Warren, Paul R. "A Practice-Based Study of a Power Toothbrush: Assessment of Effectiveness and Acceptance." Journal of the American Dental Association. March 1, 2000. http://jada.ada.org/content/131/3/389.full
  • WebMD. "Jumping Frenchmen of Maine." (Sept. 20, 2011) http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/jumping-frenchmen-of-maine