Definition and General

Noma, derived from the Greek word "nomein" literally means "grazing, eating away" which by analogy can be translated as " tumor, which eats around itself". In the German language Noma was named "cheeks fire", and in Britain after WW1 "trench mouth". In the German expression there are already two characteristics of the disease included: firstly the location, namely the cheek, and on the other hand the inflammation.

The Latin name "Cancrum Oris" particularly targets the destructive nature of the disease. Which is not entirely accurate, because with cancer the tissue proliferates, as opposed to Noma: the tissue dies off due to the infection.