Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG) also known as trench mouth, is a condition involving severe inflammation of the gums, resulting in deep ulcers (open blisters) in the gum tissue. ANUG is caused mainly by poor dental hygiene, poor nutrition, and a weakened immune system. Drug addiction, smoking, malnutrition, stress, or prior mouth/tooth/throat infections may also increase susceptibility to developing ANUG. Additionally, ANUG is most common in young adults.
In addition to ulcers, other common symptoms of ANUG include painful gums, bad taste in the mouth, bad breath, mild to severe gum bleeding, a grayish film on the gums, and severe discomfort while eating/swallowing. In rare cases, fever, enlarged lymph nodes, and fatigue may be experienced as well.
ANUG is usually diagnosed by a dentist or periodontist (a dentist specializing in gum health) through a dental examination. Though initial symptoms of ANUG may resemble those of normal gingivitis or other periodontal diseases, the grayish film on the gums is characteristic of ANUG in particular. Typically, the gums will also be swabbed and tested for bacteria that may cause symptoms.
Treatment for ANUG is aimed at stopping the infection, relieving pain, and restoring gum health. Treatment may include prescription of antibiotics or pain medication, a dental cleaning including the removal of dead/infected gum tissue, and adherence to a better dental hygiene and diet plan. In extreme cases, gum surgery may be necessary to remove the infected tissue.
If you or a family member have been diagnosed with ANUG, speak with your doctor or dentist about the most current treatment options. Support groups may also be available for further resources and information.
Description Last Updated: Aug 24, 2018