Noma (cancrum oris, water cancer) is an orofacial gangrene that may develop in malnutritioned children debilitated by concomittant diseases as measles. It has been hypothesized that the gangrene originates from acute necrotizing gingivitis, common in malnourished children in developing countries. In previous centuries noma was common in the Western world. The affection disappeared when economical progress permitted the poorest to feed their children sufficiently. The yearly incidence of noma in the world is estimated as 140.000. The mortality is ± 90%. The facial deformities of those who survive noma are generally serious. Beside facial mutilations, oral functions are hampered (trismus, oral incontinence, impaired speech). Both prevention (improved feeding, measles vaccination) as the treatment of those who contract and survive noma are a challenge for the ‘global village’ of the modern world.