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Trench Mouth

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Feb 4, 2024.

What is trench mouth?

Trench mouth is a severe infection of the gums caused by bacteria.

What increases my risk for trench mouth?

The following may put you at risk for trench mouth:

What are the signs and symptoms of trench mouth?

How is trench mouth diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will look at your gums and ask about your symptoms. You may also need the following:

How is trench mouth treated?

Treatment may relieve your symptoms within 24 hours.

When should I follow up with my dentist?

Dental cleaning will help relieve your symptoms. You may need to see a dentist more than once. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

What are the risks of trench mouth?

The pain can make it hard for you to eat or drink. This can lead to dehydration or malnutrition. Without treatment, the infection can spread deeper into your gums. Your cheeks and throat may become hot, swollen, and red. You can lose teeth if these infections are not treated. The tissue inside your throat, cheeks, and lips can also get infected. These infections can be life-threatening.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

When should I seek immediate care?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.