Colgate Oral Health Network

With its tumultuous and murky history, syphilis has influenced the scientific developments in various medical fields, including microbiology, immunology, pharmacology, and bioethics.

It is a communicable infectious disease that can have chronic and dangerous consequences, but is also easily treatable with antibiotics. Having declined sharply since effective treatment with penicillin was introduced in the 1940s, the disease is on the rise again in the U.S. and worldwide. Prevalence of congenital syphilis, a leading cause of stillbirths worldwide, has also been increasing. Oral and peri-oral lesions can be present in all stages of the disease, from primary to tertiary, and specific dental manifestations are associated with congenital syphilis. Dental professionals, who may be the first clinicians to evaluate the manifestations of disease in patients seeking treatment for their oral lesions, must be familiar with clinical presentation, diagnosis, prevention and treatment protocols.

Participants will learn:

  • Epidemiology of syphilis and co-infection with other sexually transmitted diseases and HIV infection;
  • Etiology and pathogenesis of syphilis;
  • General and oral/peri-oral manifestations of syphilis in primary, secondary, and tertiary stages and dental abnormalities associated with congenital syphilis;
  • Diagnosis and differential diagnosis of syphilis;
  • Treatment protocols and prevention strategies, including vaccine development.

Additional Resources:


Anna Matthews

Anna Matthews RDH, MS

More courses with Anna Matthews

Anna Matthews, RDH, MS is an Associate Professor in the dental hygiene program at the New York City College of Technology /City University of New York where she teaches oral anatomy, pharmacology, and clinical dental hygiene courses. Prof. Matthews’s research interests are technology and educational innovations in the classroom, high-impact pedagogies and interdisciplinary studies, current issues in dentistry and dental hygiene, and emerging pharmacological therapies and their implications for oral health professionals. Prof. Matthews served as a vice-president for professional development at the New York State Dental Hygiene Association from 2017 to 2019.

"“The Great Imitator”: Resurgence of Syphilis and the Role of the Dental Provider in Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention." has been planned and implemented in accordance with the standards of the AGD Pace and is supported by funds received from Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals Inc. Tribune Group GmbH is a recognized AGD Pace provider. At the end of the webinar, after passing the C.E. Quiz, you will be able to download your AGD Pace C.E. Certificate.


On-demand webinar

Management of the Odontogenic Infection for the General Dentist
Caroline Zeller

Caroline Zeller DDS, MPH (Assistant Professor OHSU Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Hospital Dental Services)

Management of the Odontogenic Infection for the General Dentist