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Case Reports in Dentistry
Volume 2016, Article ID 6295920, 3 pages
Case Report

Oral Syphilis: A Reemerging Infection Prompting Clinicians’ Alertness

1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Karolinska University Hospital, 171 76 Stockholm, Sweden
2Department of Dental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Box 4064, 141 04 Huddinge, Sweden

Received 5 March 2016; Revised 2 May 2016; Accepted 5 May 2016

Academic Editor: Eugenio Maiorano

Copyright © 2016 Sebastian Dybeck Udd and Bodil Lund. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Syphilis is a rare but increasing disease. Due to changing sexual habits, presentation of oral manifestations may rise. Since syphilis may mimic other oral manifestations, diagnoses can be difficult. Clinicians need to be aware that ambiguous oral manifestations may in fact be caused by oral syphilis. Here, we present a case of extended diagnostic delay highlighting the importance of consulting an expert in infectious diseases in case of obscure oral lesions not responding to standard treatment. Despite seven visits to six different medical doctors, a patient who presented with oral syphilis was continuously misdiagnosed. After 6 months of increasing complaints and deteriorating severity of disease, the patient was referred to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon where the correct diagnosis was determined and proper treatment initiated.