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 because of which your gums are affected highly by swelling / inflammation and also ulcers of the gingiva / gums; however this is rare and non-contagious. This condition also is known by other names – Vincent's disease and acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG).

This condition can occur anytime in your life but it normally affects people below the age of 35. This condition affects mainly persons whose oral hygiene is poor because such people have high levels of bacteria that causes infection of the gums. This can be treated and cured easily; however if you leave it without any treatment it could cause serious damage not only to your mouth but also to your jawbones. ANUG is also seen in HIV individuals.

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


The symptoms of Trench mouth are fetid odor (halitosis), pasty saliva, constant gnawing radiating pain that is intensified by eating spicy or hot foods and chewing, bleeding, red and swollen gums etc.


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


ANUG treatment normally lasts for a period of two weeks to become effective. Some of the remedial measures for ANUG are salt water rinses, hydrogen peroxide rinses, OTC pain medication, antibiotics, brushing and flossing and professional dental cleaning.


The primary reason for the occurrence of trench mouth in most of the cases is because of poor oral hygiene. Hence, this could be avoided by proper daily brushing, flossing and regular mouthwash treatment. Smoking is a major factor in getting trench mouth and should be avoided.

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


It is highly essential that you take immediate necessary action for treating ANUG because this condition will not vanish on its own. The infection could spread to the whole mouth in case you do not take action for treatment thereby causing damage to the bone. Some of the complications are dehydration, loss of teeth, loss of tissue in the cheeks, lips or jawbone, pain, spread of infection and periodontitis.

ANUG (Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis) Or Trench Mouth by Padmanabhan Vaidyanathan

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