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NHS Choices Condition

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If you develop gingivitis and fail to have the plaque or tartar removed from your teeth, your condition may worsen and lead to periodontitis. If you go on to develop periodontitis and do not receive treatment, then you may develop a series of further complications, which may include:

  • recurrent gum abscesses (collections of infected fluid),
  • loose teeth,
  • loss of teeth,
  • damage to the bone (alveolar) and thin layer of tissue (periodontal membrane) which surrounds the root of the teeth, and
  • receding gums.

So, if you develop gingivitis or periodontitis, it is very important that you get the condition treated as soon as possible on order to minimise the risk of developing further conditions, such as periodontitis.

Acute necrotising ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG)

If acute necrotising ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG) is left untreated, it can cause more severe complications. Inadequate treatment of ANUG can cause the infection to spread to affect all areas of your gums, as well as the bones which surround your teeth. The gums found in between your teeth may end up being completely destroyed, leaving your teeth loose and unstable.

If ANUG is not properly treated the first time you get it, it may also mean that you are more likely to have recurring cases of ANUG in the future. This can leave you with frequent bad breath (halitosis) and bleeding gums.

In very rare cases, ANUG can lead to a condition known as gangrene. Gangrene occurs when your tissue starts to die and waste away. The affected skin and tissue usually turn black. You will usually also lose feeling in the affected areas, although the skin surrounding the gangrenous tissue will often be very painful.

The type of gangrene which results from ANUG is known as noma. Noma affects the lips and cheeks. If you develop noma, you may have to have the dead tissue cut away. This often means you will also require some re-constructive plastic surgery to repair the missing tissue. Noma only tends to affect those with a very weak immune system, or people who are malnourished.

view information about Gum Disease on www.nhs.co.uk »

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