When poor oral hygiene is combined with serious life stress and possibly nutritional deficiencies, the result can be Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis, or ANUG. Another name of it is trench mouth. It can be painful, and it is characterized by areas where the gum tissue has become so inflamed that it has died, or become necrotic. These areas will be small ulcers, and will be grayish in color, and will tend to slough off. The tissue will be generally swollen, and where it isn’t dead, it will bleed very easily. The photograph below illustrates the tendency to bleed and the grayish areas of dead tissue that characterize trench mouth.
ANUG is an infection of the gums. Certain bacteria including fusiform bacteria and spirochetes have been thought to be involved, but the full story behind this long-known disease is still not clear.
This condition is also called Vincent’s angina, named after the French physician Henri Vincent (1862-1950). The word “angina” is derived from the Latin word “angere” which means “to choke or to throttle.”
Other names used to describe acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis are:
- Fusospirillary gingivitis
- Necrotizing gingivitis
- Vincent’s stomatitis
- Vincent’s infection
- Phagedenic gingivitis
Still, the most common name is ANUG or Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis.
—Dr. David Hall.
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