Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis

(ANUG; Trench Mouth; Vincent's Stomatitis)

Definition

Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG) is a serious infection of the gums that causes ulcers, swelling, and dead tissues in the mouth.

Causes

Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis is typically caused by excess bacteria in the mouth.

Risk Factors

ANUG most often impacts people who are 35 years of age and younger. Factors that may increase the risk of ANUG include excess bacteria in the mouth due to:
  • Lack of dental care
  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Poor diet
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Infections in the throat, teeth, or mouth
  • A weak immune system
  • Smoking
  • Stress

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:
  • Pain in the gums
  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Bad taste in the mouth; extremely bad breath
  • Red and swollen gums
  • Gray residue on the gums
  • Large ulcers or loss of gum tissue in between teeth
  • Fever
  • Discomfort
  • Swollen lymph nodes
Red and Swollen Gums
Gingivitis
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Diagnosis

You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A dental exam will be done.Images may be taken of your teeth and face. This can be done with x-rays.
Dental X-ray
Jaw x-ray teeth
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Treatment

Although ANUG is a painful condition, it can be treated. Talk with your dentist about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include:
  • Antibiotics to treat infection
  • Dental surgery
  • Regular dental cleanings
  • Changes in diet

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Prevention

To help reduce your chances of getting ANUG, take the following steps:
  • Take proper care of teeth and gums.
  • See your dentist regularly.
  • Eat a balanced diet.

RESOURCES

American Academy of Periodontology
http://www.perio.org

American Dental Association
http://www.mouthhealthy.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Dental Association
http://www.cda-adc.ca

Canadian Dental Hygienists Association
http://www.cdha.ca

References

Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated November 30, 2009. Accessed August 18, 2014.

Contreras A, Falkler WA Jr, Enwonwu CO, et al. Herman herpesviridae in acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis in children in Nigeria. Oral Microbiol Immunol. 1997;12:259-265.

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