Trench Mouth!

Yep – I’ve got trench mouth. What the f!!! How in the hell does someone in the 21st century develop Streptococcus mutans – aka acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis. NECROTIZING!

So, how did I end up lumped in with WWI soldiers you ask? Well two of the main causes of trench mouth are high stress and poor oral hygiene. Two things those poor bastards in the trenches were highly accustom to. Since my dentist can attest to my oral hygiene being very good, all suspicions point to stress. Now – I admit that back when I was in college my oral care was less than superb. Between beer funnels, bong hits, and rugby binge drinking (oh, and classes too), tooth and gum care was a lower priority. But I have since changed my ways and Kim can vouch that I am a bit of an oral hygiene Nazi now. As well, anyone who knows me knows I am always stressed. It rarely surfaces in your typical mental break downs, hives, ulcer-causing-drinking, or other such recourse. No – I am an internalizer. That’s a new one I just made up, so hands off until I copyright it. I like to keep things festering. To tell the truth, I don’t even know I am stressed. But the same dentist that diagnosed me with trench mouth this morning over the phone can also attest that I stress – a lot. I am seeing him to have my TMJ corrected and my teeth and jaw are screwed up from it. I may have good oral care, but grinding your teeth at night goes al long way to negate that. When they showed me close up digital pictures of my teeth the number of cracks was frightening. Yeah, I stress. Guess the title to this blog is apropos.

So – back to the subject. I saw my dentist for a cleaning on Thursday last week. The hygenist is friendly, bright, and genuinly an advocate for my oral health. She’s also as rough as a Turkish prison guard. So I left with my gums sort of agitated, but feeling clean. Fast forward to Monday…my left lower jaw was sore and I was back at the dentist for a Doppler sounding of my TMJ and appliance adjustment (if needed). Nothing too unusual. Then Monday night my gum starts really acting up. It’s sore, swollen, and red between three teeth. Plus, my lymphnode under my jaw is swollen and sore. OK, something is definitely wrong here. I call Tuesday and give them the situation – which, at this point, I think is just an isolated infection. They tell me to keep up salted, warm-water rinses. This morning the left side seems to have subsided, but I am merely fooled by the relativity of the condition – it has spread to multiple teeth. My gums are really agitated and I can no longer put my TMJ mouth piece in. Another train is going off the tracks….

So Dr Marino calls me back after I page him. I tell him what’s going on and he gives me the technical name of what I’ve got after explaining that it is very rare, especially for someone with good gums/teeth. I ask him to explain it – he replies “you’ve heard of trench mouth, right?” What?!

I’m on antibiotics now and feel like shit. It has quickly gotten worse and most of my mouth and jaw hurts. This is so crazy it’s comical. I hope this is the part where it gets worse before getting better.

The way I see it – the Turkish dental cleaning coupled with a hard weekend of training and racing reduced my immune system.


~ by Indy on August 16, 2006.

One Response to “Trench Mouth!”

  1. Oh I am sorry! You must be in quite a bit of pain. Never associated trench mouth w/WW1 but I remember Pat Chiarelli getting it when she was in college. She thought she got it from dirty kitchen utensils. Has your dentist given you any antibiotic mouthwash or suggestings to prevent future occurance? To me, it seems you could benefit from a week on a beach, far from worry of school and inner challenges of racing but I know it’s not your nature. I love you very much and I hate to know you are in pain.

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