Epstein Pearls – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

What are Epstein Pearls?

Epstein Pearls are tiny white or yellow bumps on the roof of a baby’s mouth. Clinically, these are known as Palatal Cysts, Gingival Cysts or Dental lamina cysts.  These harmless cysts mostly develop in newborns during the early stage of their growth. The bumps carry keratin i.e., a protein that occurs naturally in human skin, nails and hair. Hence these bumps measure between 1-3mm and they are usually found along the gumline. 

Epstein Pearls in newborns occur due to the following reasons:

  • If the babies are born past their due date
  • The baby born to an older mother
  • If a baby have higher birth weight

However, Epstein pearls will disappear on their own within a few weeks of the baby’s birth. Let us have a look at some symptoms, causes and treatment of Epstein Pearls.

Causes of Epstein Pearls

Epstein pearls are very common and occur in 85% of the newborns. The fusion of jaw and palate together results in trapped skin filled with Keratin and this leads to Epstein Pearl. 

However, Epstein Pearls are not the result of anything that a woman did or didn’t do during pregnancy. Also these are not a sign of anything wrong within the baby. Sometimes, breastfeeding and bottle feeding can also help in dissolving the cysts naturally. 

If you are not sure whether your bumps are Epstein Pearls then you must consult a paediatrician. Also if the palatal cysts cause too much pain and gums start bleeding then a medical diagnosis is necessary. 


Epstein Pearls are whitish-yellow and are smaller than 3 millimeters. They don’t cause any symptoms beyond their appearance. These bumps are noticeable when a baby opens their mouth to cry. However, they do not cause any discomfort to the baby. These appear only on the roof of the mouth and gums. Sometimes they appear similar to the incoming teeth.

Are Epstein Pearls Treatable?

The bumps do not require any kind of treatment. They may disappear on their own within a few weeks after their birth. In some cases, the breastfeeding, bottle feeding and pacifier can help to dissolve the bumps. But if your baby refuses to drink, feed the breast milk or from the bottle then you should check with your dentist.

When to visit your Doctor?

You should visit the doctor, if you notice the cysts do not decrease in size or they do not disappear in a few weeks. Also if your baby suffers with too much pain or irritation you must consult your doctor. 

Here are some conditions and signs that may resemble Epstein Pearls but difficult to identify in between them. 

Oral Thrush

Oral thrush is a type of yeast infection in the baby’s  mouth. The white spots can be a sign of fungal infection known as thrush. This can happen when yeast gets inside the mouth and infects the tissues. 

Natal (Newborn) Teeth

For some babies natal teeth appear on the gums and people may mistake them as Epstein Pearls. But this rarely happens in only 1 for every 6,000 babies. 

You should consult your doctor if your baby is born with 1 or 2 teeth. Sometimes these teeth may interfere with feeding. In such cases, the dentist many recommend for removal. 

Mouth, Hand and Foot disease

Some viruses can cause Hand, Mouth and Foot disease, which is very common in children less than 5 years. These symptoms may cause sore in the mouth and also cause red spots in the back of the mouth. As a result, these can be painful and cause fussiness with feeding. 

So it is advisable to consult a Paediatrician if your baby faces any of these symptoms. Neglecting this may lead the baby to dehydrate and be difficult to take even fluids. 

Sky Dental hospital in Vijayawada provides high-quality dentistry & also artistic skills that can improve a person’s health, smile, and confidence. Sky Dental Provides services like Root canal treatment, Gum Treatment, Implants, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Full mouth Rehabilitation and much more. Apart from this, there is a separate ward for any dental problems related to Children.

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