Syphilis : Clinical features

November 12, 2011 | By | Reply More

Syphilis : Clinical features

Clinical features

  • Syphilis may be acquired (common) or congenital (rare).
  • Acquired syphilis is classified as 

                    –  primary

                     -secondary and

                     – tertiary.

  • The characteristic lesion in the primary stage is the chancre that appears at the site of inoculation, usually three weeks after the infection.
  • Oralchancre appears in about 5–10% of cases, and clinically presents as a painless ulcer with a smooth surface, raised borders, and an indurated base .
  • Regional lymphadenopathy is a constant finding.
  • The secondary stage begins 6–8 weeks after the appearance of the chancre, and lasts for 2–10 weeks.
  • Oral lesions are mucous patches (common), macular syphilids, and condylomata lata (rare) .
  • Constitutional symptoms and signs

– malaise,

– low-grade fever,


– lacrimation,

-sore throat,

-weight loss,

-myalgias and

-multiple arthralgias,

-generalized lymphadenopathy

  • cutaneous manifestations

– macular syphilids,

– papular syphilids,

– condylomata lata,

– nail involvement,

-hair loss,

– atypical rash, etc.  are constant findings.

  • Tertiary syphilis begins after a period of 4–7 years. Oral lesions are gumma, atrophic or luteic glossitis, and interstitial glossitis.
  • The most common oral lesions in congenital syphilis are a

– high-arched palate,

– short mandible,

– rhagades,

– Hutchinson’s teeth, and

-Moon’s or mulberry molars

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Category: Dental, Oral Pathology

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