GINGIVOSTOMATITIS IN ADULTS:
The term “gingivostomatitis” refers to a group of diseases caused by the fungus called G. destructans. These infections are most commonly found in dogs and cats, but they have been reported in other species such as ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs and rodents. They affect both adult and juvenile animals. The disease is transmitted from animal to animal through direct contact with infected saliva or mucus droplets.
Infected saliva contains spores of the fungus, which can survive in moist environments for months after it’s been shed.
These spore-forming fungi cause gingivostomatitis when they infect the salivary glands of infected animals. The infection occurs when these salivary glands produce infected saliva or mucus. Infected saliva then gets into the lungs, where it causes pneumonia (infection of the airways) and death.
There are two main types of gingivostomatitis: primary and secondary. Primary gingivostomatitis is usually fatal because it starts out slowly and progresses rapidly over time. Secondary gingivostomatitis develops gradually over several weeks before becoming life threatening.
GINGIVOSTOMATITIS IN INFANTS:
As described above, the disease is caused by a group of fungi called G. destructans. It is found in many parts of the world and can survive in wild and domestic animals. It can also survive cold temperatures so it can spread in the soil over winter.
The first symptom is a mild fever which can range from 100 to 102 degrees F. The fever can last for up to two days and is often accompanied by a swollen, red tongue.
The symptoms of gingivostomatitis in infants can be similar to those caused by other diseases, such as thrush or roseola. If you think that your child has the disease, contact your pediatrician immediately.
This disease is not contagious and you can not get it from someone else. It is most common in children between six months and five years. It is most frequently found in children between one and two years. It can sometimes be seen in older children and adults.
Most people recover completely from this disease without any treatment, but some people may need antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections. If salivary gland swelling is involved, your doctor may drain the saliva from the glands.
If you have the disease, stay away from other people. This is especially important for infants and people with suppressed immune systems. If you have a cold, do not kiss or hug other people.
You can spread this infection if you have symptoms and up to two weeks after the symptoms disappear. Immediately seek medical attention if your child has a fever that lasts more than three days.
Gingivostomatitis is not a common disease in adults, but it can be deadly in people who have certain forms of cancer or leukemia. You should seek immediate medical care if you experience the symptoms described above and you have one of these diseases.
There is no treatment for gingivostomatitis in adults. If your condition worsens, you may need a breathing tube and other treatments to keep you alive until your body fights off the disease.
Some adults have died as a result of gingivostomatitis. While this disease is rare in people over the age of three, it can cause death in people with certain medical conditions.
Sources & references used in this article:
Gingivostomatitis by KF Lyon – Veterinary Clinics: Small Animal Practice, 2005 – vetsmall.theclinics.com
An epilogue to plasma-cell gingivostomatitis (allergic gingivostomatitis) by S Silverman Jr, F Lozada – Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, 1977 – Elsevier
Allergic gingivostomatitis (due to gum chewing) by DA Kerr, KD McClatchey, JA Regezi – 1971 – deepblue.lib.umich.edu
Treatment of herpes simplex gingivostomatitis with aciclovir in children: a randomised double blind placebo controlled study by J Amir, L Harel, Z Smetana, I Varsano – Bmj, 1997 – bmj.com