ANUG (acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis) or trench mouth



Trench mouth is a serious and painful dental condition that occurs due to very high bacterial infection of the gums, due to which your gums are badly affected with swelling / inflammation and also gum / gum ulcers; however it is rare and not contagious. This condition is also known by other names – Vincent’s disease and acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG).

This condition can occur at any time in your life, but it normally affects people under the age of 35. This condition mainly affects people with poor oral hygiene as these people have high levels of bacteria which cause gum infection. It can be treated and cured easily; however, if you leave it untreated, it could cause serious damage not only to your mouth but also to your jaws. ANUG is also seen in people with HIV.

Some of the famous people affected by ANUG were – American novelist William Styron, African American footballer Ernie Davis and actress Marilyn Monroe.


Symptoms of trench mouth are foul odor (halitosis), pasty saliva, constant radiating and gnawing pain which is intensified by eating spicy or hot food and chewing, bleeding, red swollen gums, etc. .

The causes

The main reasons for ANUG are poor oral hygiene, smoking, stress, nutritional deficiency, etc.


ANUG treatment normally takes two weeks to become effective. Some of the corrective actions for ANUG are salt water rinses, hydrogen peroxide rinses, over-the-counter pain relievers, antibiotics, brushing and flossing, and professional dental cleaning.


The main reason for the appearance of trench mouth in most cases is poor oral hygiene. Hence, it could be avoided by proper daily brushing, flossing and regular mouthwash. Smoking is a major factor in getting your mouth out of the trenches and should be avoided.

  • Good general health which includes good nutrition and workouts
  • Good oral hygiene which includes brushing, flossing and regular professional cleaning
  • Coping with stress
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid irritants like hot or spicy foods.


It is very important that you take the necessary steps to treat ANUG immediately as this condition will not go away on its own. The infection could spread to your whole mouth if you are not going to intervene for treatment, causing damage to the bone. Some of the complications are dehydration, loss of teeth, loss of tissue in the cheeks, lips or jaw, pain, spread of infection, and periodontitis.

Source by Padmanabhan Vaidyanathan


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