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January 1939


Author Affiliations

From the Dental Study Unit, Yale University School of Medicine.

Am J Dis Child. 1939;57(1):52-57. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1939.01990010061004

Since Hutchinson (1859)1 described the abnormality of the upper first permanent incisor which he believed to be the only dental defect reliably pathognomonic of congenital syphilis, considerable controversy has centered around the following questions: 1. Can the typical Hutchinsonian tooth be taken as a sign of congenital syphilis in all cases? 2. Can defects of the teeth other than those found in the upper first permanent incisor in cases of congenital syphilis also be considered as pathognomonic of this disease? 3. Can defects in the enamel occurring independently of or concurrently with congenital syphilis be clearly differentiated from the defects of syphilitic type?

The present communication concerns clinical observations on the developmental dental defects found in the permanent teeth of 8 patients with congenital syphilis. These patients, who had applied at the Outpatient Clinic of the Peiping Union Medical College Hospital for treatment during the years 1922 to 1927,