ANUG is more commonly known as trench mouth because it was common among soldiers during World War 1, or as Vincent’s Disease after the French physician Henri Vincent (1862-1950). ANUG has many other names, including acute membranous gingivitis, fusospirillary gingivitis, fusospirillosis gingivitis, necrotizing gingivitis, phagedenic gingivitis, ulcerative gingivitis, or Vincent gingivitis. ANUG is often brought by stress and /or smoking and is a painful infection with ulceration swelling and sloughing off of dead tissue from the mouth and throat due to the spread of the infection from the gums. Other causes for the disease may include poor oral hygiene, poor nutrition, and tooth and mouth infection. ANUG is a rare condition which typically affects people ages 15 to 35.

The healthy mouth usually contains a balance of different microorganisms. ANUG occurs when there is an overabundance of abnormal mouth bacteria resulting in infection of the gums. Viruses can also be involved in allowing the bacteria to overgrow. These bacteria release poisons which irritate the gums, causing further infection. If untreated, you will eventually lose your teeth.

Good oral hygiene is therefore important to prevent trench mouth (ANUG), including brushing and flossing on a regular daily basis in conjunction with regular professional cleanings and examinations. Good nutrition and good general health also prevent the disorder. Other measure to prevent trench mouth include smoking cessation and learning how to deal with stress.

The symptoms of ANUG are easy to spot: gums bleeding in response to any pressure or irritation reddened gums, a grayish film on the gums, crater-like ulcers, a foul taste in the mouth, and bad breath. Professional cleaning of the gums is necessary, as well as irrigation of the mouth with saltwater or peroxide solution, which may help to relieve symptoms.