Not infrequently in the tertiary stage of syphilis, a circumscribed or diffused gummatous infiltration of the soft palate occurs. It develops slowly and insidiously. When the pharyngeal surface is first involved, there are no signs other than some stiffness and immobility of the soft palate. When the oral surface is affected, the process is to be recognized by the red edematous and nodular appearance of the mucous membrane.
The infiltrated tissue is prone to ulcerate and the process may then cause some moderate pain or discomfort. Perforation often results. The uvula is not uncommonly completely destroyed, or may disappear as the result of scar tissue contraction following a more moderate ulceration, or it may become consolidated with the soft palate by adhesions along its free border. The whole soft palate is usually greatly deformed by the resulting scarring.