The scientific name is acute necrotizing ulcerated gingivitis. Most people call it trench mouth.
It comes from not brushing your teeth enough, and combat dentist Maj. Harold McAdoo is seeing a lot of the disease among the average 15 troops he treats each day."They get relaxed. There are no girls. There's no one around to kiss. So they use their toothbrush to clean their rifle. . . . They don't brush until they can't stand themselves any longer," said the 43-year-old from Greensboro, N.C.
McAdoo attends to the teeth of soldiers in the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. He hounds the soldiers living in rough conditions to brush their teeth because, he says, toothaches or gum diseases can be just as debilitating as war wounds.