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Epstein pearls


Definition:

Epstein pearls are whitish-yellow cysts that form on the gums and roof of the mouth in a newborn baby.

Milia is a similar kind of skin problem in babies.

Alternative Names:

Gingival cysts of the newborn

Causes:

Epstein pearls occur only in newborns and are very common. They are seen in about 4 out of 5 newborns.

Symptoms:

Whitish-yellow nodules appear on the gums or the roof of the mouth. They sometimes look like emerging teeth.

Exams and Tests:

An exam confirms that these are Epstein pearls and not teeth present at birth (natal teeth).

Treatment:

No treatment is necessary. The condition is harmless.

Outlook (Prognosis):

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.

References:

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: 5/5/2014
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.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 2002 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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