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Epstein Pearls: Definition, Signs, Causes, Remedy

What Are Epstein Pearls? 

Epstein pearls are very small cysts that seem within the mouths of 60% to 85% of newborns. They seem like tiny, white bumps and usually seem alongside a child’s gums or on the roof of the mouth. Epstein pearls are named after Alois Epstein, a Czech pediatrician who first described them again in 1880.

Epstein pearls are benign, that means they aren’t harmful to your child. They don’t require therapy and can go away on their very own over the course of some weeks.

Traits of Epstein Pearls  

Epstein pearls comprise keratin, a protein present in pores and skin and different mucous membranes. They could resemble small pimples in your child’s mouth and are typically painless.

Epstein pearls are:

  • Recognized to seem on their very own or in clusters of two to six 
  • Much less widespread in first-born infants
  • Extra widespread in increased birthweight infants
  • Extra widespread in Japanese, White, and Black infants
  • A variety of sizes, from lower than a millimeter to a number of millimeters in diameter

Figuring out Epstein Pearls

Though Epstein pearls are innocent and don’t require therapy, it is best to have a pediatrician check out your baby to make it possible for’s what you are coping with.

Bumps in your child’s mouth could also be attributable to one other situation which may want medical therapy, similar to thrush (a yeast an infection). It may be tough to tell apart Epstein pearls from different situations by yourself.

In some very uncommon instances, small white bumps on the gums may even become one thing a little bit extra shocking: natal tooth, that are creating tooth that may seem within the new child interval.

Search medical consideration if the bumps don’t go away, appear to worsen, or are bleeding, or in case your child seems to be in ache or is refusing to nurse or take a bottle. 


Epstein pearls aren’t preventable, nor are they attributable to something a mum or dad did or didn’t do throughout being pregnant. When a child’s mouth reaches the ultimate phases of growth throughout being pregnant, the perimeters of the jaw and the palate (roof of the mouth) start to fuse collectively.

When that occurs, a number of the layers of pores and skin can get caught.” That is what results in Epstein pearls.


Generally, the friction from breastfeeding, ingesting a bottle, utilizing a teether, or sucking on a pacifier can break down the cysts and assist them dissolve.

By no means squeeze Epstein pearls or attempt to pop the cysts. Not solely will that not do any good, however it might introduce dangerous micro organism into child’s bloodstream.

A Phrase From Verywell

Seeing something you do not anticipate when taking a look at your baby will be regarding. However relaxation assured that in the event that they do have Epstein pearls, they aren’t in ache or in want of any therapy. As well as, these cysts finally self-resolve naturally.

Verywell Household makes use of solely high-quality sources, together with peer-reviewed research, to help the info inside our articles. Learn our editorial course of to study extra about how we fact-check and preserve our content material correct, dependable, and reliable.
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  3. Patil S, Rao RS, Majumdar B, Jafer M, Maralingannavar M, Sukumaran A. Oral lesions in neonates. Int J Clin Pediatr Dent. 2016;9(2):131–138. doi:10.5005/jp-journals-10005-1349

  4. Kiat-Amnuay S, Bouquot J. Breastfeeding keratosis: this frictional keratosis of newborns could mimic thrush. Pediatrics. 2013;132(3):e775-8. doi:10.1542/peds.2012-2796

  5. Heerden WV, Zyl AV. Analysis and administration of oral lesions and situations within the new child. S Afr Fam Pract. 2010;52(6):489-491. doi:10.1080/20786204.2010.10874032

By Chaunie Brusie, RN

Chaunie Brusie is a registered nurse with expertise in long-term, essential care, and obstetrical and pediatric nursing.

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