Trench mouth is an infection caused by a buildup of bacteria that results in swelling (inflammation) and ulcers in the gums (gingivae)


  • Severe gum pain
  • Bleeding from gums
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Pain when eating or swallowing
  • Gray film on your gums
  • Crater-like sores (ulcers) between your teeth and on your gums
  • Foul taste in your mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Fever and fatigue (malaise)
  • Swollen lymph nodes around your head, neck or jaw


  • Overabundance of harmful bacteria

Risk Factors

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Poor nutrition
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Throat, tooth or mouth infections
  • Emotional stress
  • Compromised immune system

Diagnostic Tests

  • Physical examination
  • Dental X-rays
  • Blood tests
  • Throat swab culture


  • Medications:
  • Antibiotics
  • Pain relievers
  • Antiseptic mouth wash
  • Cleaning teeth and gums:
  • Rinsing with an antiseptic solution
  • Scaling and root planing
  • Hydrogen peroxide mouthwash
  • Warm salt water rinses
  • Surgery

Lifestyle Management

  • Avoid smoking
  • Take pain medications as recommended
  • Follow a liquid diet, if recommended
  • Avoid spicy or very hot foods
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
  • Avoid drinking alcohol
  • Keep all dental appointments
  • Get plenty of rest to reduce physical and emotional stress
  • Eat a healthy diet to improve nutrition