Causes of Syphilis Developing in the Mouth and How to Treat It
Syphilis in the mouth is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that attacks the oral cavity. The symptoms of this disease are sometimes difficult to recognize because they resemble acne, so it is important to get the right diagnosis. Get to know the characteristics, causes, and how to treat it in the following review.
What is Syphilis in the Mouth?
Lion king disease or syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by bacteria Treponema pallidum. This bacterium can be spread through physical contact, such as through sexual intercourse, either vaginal, anal or oral sex.
Syphilis in the mouth is when symptoms such as sores and lesions develop around the mouth and oral cavity, and are often painless. Syphilis is usually spread during oral sex, where the bacteria enter sores on the lips or the lining of the mouth.
Initially, syphilitic sores on the mouth are similar to pimples or other skin conditions. However, if you are sexually active and have more than one sex partner, then pain that occurs in the mouth should not be taken lightly.
Also Read: These are the characteristics of the tongue of HIV sufferers that you need to watch out for
Symptoms of Syphilis in the Mouth
Symptoms of the different stages or stages of syphilis sometimes overlap. Not everyone experiences symptoms in the same order or at the same time.
The following are the most common characteristics of syphilis based on the stage, including:
1. Primary Syphilis
Chancre (small, painless lesions) that appear anywhere on the body, including:
2. Secondary Syphilis
Symptoms that develop in someone with oral syphilis during the second stage include:
- Rash on the palms, bottoms of the feet, or all over the trunk.
- Swollen lymph nodes.
- Large, raised sores on mucous membranes, such as the gums or tongue.
- Sore throat.
- Weight loss.
The latent stage of syphilis causes no symptoms at all, but if it progresses to the tertiary stage, dead skin cell lesions can appear on the roof of the mouth.
4. Tertiary Syphilis
Most people with untreated syphilis do not develop tertiary syphilis. However, when it occurs, it can affect many different organ systems. This includes the heart and blood vessels, brain, and nervous system.
Tertiary syphilis is very serious and will occur 10–30 years after the first infection. In tertiary syphilis, this disease damages the internal organs and can cause death.
Causes of Syphilis in the Mouth
Syphilis in the mouth is caused by bacteria Treponema pallidum. These bacteria can be spread through sexual contact or through close contact such as kissing, where the bacteria are transmitted through saliva droplets.
Syphilis sores are very contagious so they spread easily and the bacteria can adapt to the mouth and spread quickly because the humidity is an ideal place.
However, oral syphilis through kissing is rare and the bacteria cannot be spread by sharing eating or drinking utensils.
This bacterium can enter a person’s body through wounds on the body. If these bacteria get into the sores in the mouth, syphilis forms in the mouth.
Also Read: 8 Dangers of Oral Sex and Tips for Safe Doing it
How to Treat Syphilis in the Mouth
If syphilis is detected at an early stage, this sexually transmitted disease can be easily treated. Doctors will usually prescribe the antibiotic benzathine penicillin G for oral syphilis.
If the condition develops into the primary or secondary stage, then the treatment method includes a single injection of antibiotics. As for the tertiary stage; where the bacteria are farther away in the body, the dose of antibiotic may be the same but requires multiple injections.
Please note, it is very important to complete all courses of medication completely as prescribed by the doctor. If not treated in the early stages, canker sores and other symptoms will disappear within a few weeks, but this does not mean that you are cured of oral syphilis.
Bacteria that are still active in the body can cause additional symptoms that may appear later.
Therefore, patients are advised not to have sexual contact with partners until mouth sores completely cured. The doctor may recommend getting tested for syphilis every 6 months for one year to make sure that the patient has fully recovered.
Oral syphilis that is not treated is at risk for long-term severe damage to organs such as the heart and brain. In severe cases, this condition can be life threatening.
- Anonymous. Oral Syphilis Signs and Symptoms | Syphilis Stages, Treatment and Testing Cost. https://www.dxsaver.com/oral-syphilis/. (Accessed August 11, 2022)
- Bottaro, Angelica. 2022. How to Know If You Have Oral Syphilis. https://www.verywellhealth.com/oral-syphilis-5271673. (Accessed August 11, 2022)
- Holland, Kimberly. 2020. What Causes Oral Syphilis and How Do You Treat It?. https://www.healthline.com/health/syphilis-mouth. (Accessed August 11, 2022)
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