Epstein pearls are whitish-yellow cysts that form on the gums and roof of the mouth in a newborn baby.
A similar kind of skin problem in babies is milia
Gingival cysts of the newborn
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Epstein pearls occur only in the newborn and are very common. They are seen in approximately 80% of newborns.
Whitish-yellow nodules appear on the gums or the roof of the mouth in a newborn. They sometimes look like emerging teeth.
Signs and tests
Examination of the infant confirms that these are Epstein pearls and not teeth present at birth (natal teeth).
No treatment is necessary. The condition is harmless.
Epstein pearls disappear within 1 to 2 weeks of birth.
If you are concerned about Epstein pearls in your infant, discuss it with your health care provider during a routine well-baby examination.
Hellstein JW. Odontogenesis, odontogenic cysts, and odontogenic tumors. In: Cummings CW, Flint PW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2010:chap 93.
Review Date: 5/15/2012
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. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.