Anzac Day and Trench Mouth - National Dental Care

A century ago, troops in the ghastly conflict of World War I were dug into the torn-up fields of France and Belgium. It was Anzac Day but there was little time to remember their mates who had been lost.

They were not just tormented by the mud, cold and relentless shelling; they also suffered a range of ailments from the appalling conditions.

One of these diseases became known as Trench Mouth. Soldiers were unable to clean their teeth, their diet was dire, they were very stressed and their immune systems were compromised. This created the ideal conditions for a very serious type of periodontal disease, acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis.

This painful infection could lead to the loss of teeth and damage to the jaw bone. There was no real treatment until antibiotics several decades later. It had been known for many years to affect those with poor oral hygiene, poor diet and smokers.

Sadly, this awful and painful condition did not disappear after 1918. While it’s relatively rare, other kinds of periodontal disease are not.


What is periodontal disease?

Your gums and supporting tissue of the teeth and jaw provide nourishment for your teeth. A build-up of plaque can let bacteria cause gum inflammation and become periodontal disease. Further bacterial infection can cause serious damage to your jaw and gums.

Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss. Unlike the soldiers we remember on Anzac Day, we have treatment available. Just contact your National Dental Care practitioner.


Symptoms of periodontal disease

If you have inflamed gums which bleed when you brush or floss your teeth, pain while eating, sensitivity, wobbly teeth or bad breath, you need a checkup.

Untreated periodontal disease can go on to cause permanent damage to the supporting tissue around your teeth and lead to tooth loss.


How is periodontal disease treated?

Your National Dental Care practitioner will be able to advise on the best treatment for your teeth so that your gums can heal.

Knowing the correct oral hygiene techniques is important as keeping your teeth, gums and mouth properly cared for is vital. Your practitioner will also do regular deep-cleaning of your teeth and dental maintenance. If you have any concerns about your teeth this Anzac Day, you can book an appointment online now.

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