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 type of skin problem in babies.
Milia are tiny white bumps or small cysts on the skin. They are almost always seen in newborn babies.Read Article Now Book Mark Article
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.Read Article Now Book Mark Article
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....Read Article Now Book Mark Article
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...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Khorsand K, Sidbury R. Common newborn dermatoses. In: Gleason CA, Juul SE, eds. Avery's Diseases of the Newborn. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 106.
Kim WE. Disorders of the mucous membranes. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 684.
Turner EG, Dean JA. Eruption of the teeth: local, systemic, and congenital factors that influence the process. In: Dean JA, ed. McDonald and Avery’s Dentistry for the Child and Adolescent. 11th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2022:chap 20.
Review Date: 1/29/2022
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.