Epstein pearlsGingival cysts of the newborn
Epstein pearls are whitish-yellow cysts. These form on the gums and roof of the mouth in a newborn baby.
Milia are a similar kind of skin problem in babies.
Milia are tiny white bumps or small cysts on the skin. They are almost always seen in newborn babies.
Epstein pearls occur only in newborns and are very common. They are seen in about 4 out of 5 newborns.
The symptoms are whitish-yellow nodules that appear on the gums or the roof of the mouth. They sometimes look like emerging teeth.
Skin nodules are solid or cystic raised bumps in the skin that are wider than 1 centimeter (cm), but less than 2 cm.
Exams and Tests
An exam confirms that these are cysts and not natal teeth.
Natal teeth are teeth that are already present at birth. They are different from neonatal teeth, which grow in during the first 30 days after birth....
No treatment is necessary. The condition is harmless.
Epstein pearls disappear within 1 to 2 weeks of birth.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
If you are concerned about Epstein pearls in your infant, talk to your health care provider during a routine well-baby checkup.
Childhood is a time of rapid growth and change. Children have more well-child visits when they are younger. This is because development is faster d...
Hellstein J. Odontogenesis, odontogenic cysts, and odontogenic tumors. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Lund V, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 90.
Martin B, Baumhardt H, D'Alesio A, Nazif MM, McKibben DH, Davis HW. Oral disorders. In: Zitelli BJ, McIntire SC, Nowalk AJ, eds. Atlas of Pediatric Physical Diagnosis. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 20.
Review Date: 1/10/2016
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.