Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mulberry molars

Usually the molars, which are teeth located at the mouth’s back have four cusps (eminences). At times in individuals with congenital (present at birth) syphilis molars develop multiple abnormal rudimentary cusps giving the molars a look not unlike mulberries – mulberry molars.
Congenital syphilis is transmitted from the mother to the fetus during pregnancy across the placenta (vertical transmission) or during birth.
Antibiotics such as penicillin given to the pregnant woman, her baby (and the father) help treat syphilis.
Like HIV, syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection, it is caused by the spiral-shaped bacterium Treponema pallidum.
Besides mulberry molars, congenital syphilis has many other clinical manifestations that involve the skin, blood, bones, brain, kidneys, eyes, ears and so on.
Khetarpal S, Kempf E, Mostow E. Congenital syphilis: early- and late-stage findings of rhagades and dental anomalies. Pediatr Dermatol, 2011 28(4):401-3. Go to reference

Abnormal teeth in syphilis, electron microscope image of Treponema pallidum

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