Palatal cysts of the newborn

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Epstein pearl shown in roof of mouth on a 5 week old infant

Palatal cysts of the newborn, also known as Epstein pearls, are small white or yellow cystic vesicles (1 to 3 mm in size) often seen in the median palatal raphe of the mouth of newborn infants (occur in 65-85% of newborns). They are typically seen on the roof of the mouth (palate) and are filled with fluid. They are caused by entrapped epithelium (fissural cyst) during the development of the palate.

They do not require treatment[1] because they resolve spontaneously over the first few weeks of life.

Similar cysts that are scattered over the hard palate are referred to as Bohn's nodules come from minor salivary glands.

They were described by Alois Epstein.


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