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General Practice 2023

Necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis: what é, symptoms and treatment

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Necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis: what é, symptoms and treatment
Necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis: what é, symptoms and treatment
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Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis is a severe inflammation of the gums that causes very painful, bleeding wounds that can end up making chewing difficult. This type of gingivitis is more common in poor places where there is no adequate diet and where hygiene conditions are very precarious, which makes the gingiva more susceptible to bacterial infections.

Necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis is curable through antibiotic treatment, but can recur if factors such as poor hygiene and malnutrition are not eliminated.

Main symptoms

The easiest symptoms to identify of this infection are swelling of the gums and the appearance of sores around the teeth. However, other symptoms are also common, such as:

  • Redness in the gums;
  • Intense pain in gums and teeth;
  • Bleeding gum;
  • Feeling of bitter taste in the mouth;
  • Persistent bad breath.

The sores can also spread to other places such as the inside of the cheeks, the tongue or the roof of the mouth, for example, especially in people with AIDS or if treatment is not started quickly. Therefore, if symptoms of ulcerative gingivitis appear, it is important to consult a dentist or general practitioner to make the diagnosis and initiate appropriate treatment.

How the diagnosis is made

The diagnosis is usually made by the dentist or a general practitioner just by looking at the mouth and evaluating the person's history. However, there are cases in which the doctor may order a laboratory test to analyze the type of bacteria present in the mouth, in order to better adapt the treatment.

How to treat gingivitis

Treatment for acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis usually begins with a gentle cleaning of the wounds and gums at the dentist to eliminate excess bacteria and facilitate healing. Afterwards, the dentist also prescribes an antibiotic, such as Metronidazole or Phenoxymethylpenicillin, which should be used for approximately a week to eliminate the remaining bacteria.

In some cases, it may still be necessary to use an antiseptic mouthwash 3 times a day to help control the number of bacteria in the mouth, in addition to maintaining proper oral hygiene.

People who have frequent cases of gingivitis, but do not have poor diet or oral hygiene care should have blood tests to identify if there is another disease that may be causing the problem to recur.

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