In the 1880s, a Prague pediatrician named Alois Epstein first described the presence of small nodules in the mouths of some newborns. Many other investigators reported a high rate of oral cysts in fetuses and infants. Alfred Fromm studied and classified these growths according to their composition and location in 1967. Experts refer to the cysts as Epstein pearls, Bohn nodules, or dental lamina cysts.
Epstein pearls are tiny white or yellow bumps, no more than three millimeters, that develop on the mucous membranes that line the roof of the mouth. Almost 90% of babies are born with these small, keratin-filled cysts. Keratin is a protein that also makes up our hair, nails, and the outer layer of skin.
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