• Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis

    (ANUG; Trench Mouth; Vincent's Stomatitis)


    Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG) is a serious infection of the gums that causes ulcers, swelling, and dead tissues in the mouth. Although it is a very painful condition, it can be healed with treatment.


    Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis is typically caused by excess bacteria in the mouth. Too much bacteria can form in the mouth from smoking , stress, lack of dental care, a virus, and poor diet.

    Risk Factors

    A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition. Risk factors for ANUG include:
    • Lack of dental care
    • Poor dental hygiene
    • Poor diet
    • Vitamin deficiencies
    • Infections in the throat, teeth, or mouth
    • Compromised immune system
    • Smoking
    • Stress
    • Age: 35 years or younger


    If you experience any of these symptoms, do not assume it is due to acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis. These symptoms may be caused by other health conditions. If you experience any one of them, see your dentist.
    • Pain in the gums
    • Gums that bleed easily
    • Bad taste in mouth, extremely bad breath
    • Red and swollen gums
    • Gray residue on the gums
    • Large ulcers or loss of gum tissue in between teeth
    • Fever
    • Swollen lymph nodes
    Red and Swollen Gums
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    Your dentist will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A dental exam will be done to look for:
    • Inflammation of the gums
    • Destroyed gum tissue
    • Crater-like ulcers in the gums that may contain plaque and debris from food
    • Dental x-rays
    • Facial x-rays
    Dental X-ray
    Jaw x-ray teeth
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    Talk with your dentist about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include:
    • Antibiotics to clear up the infection
    • Dental surgery
    • Improved diet
    • Regular dental cleanings
    • Changes in diet


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


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

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


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

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


    Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed . Updated November 30, 2009. Accessed October 30, 2012.

    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.

    Schreiner C, Quinn FB. Stomatitis. University of Texas Medical Branch website. Available at: http://www.utmb.edu/otoref/grnds/stomatitis.htm . Published November 29, 1995. Accessed October 30, 2012.

    Revision Information

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