Mandible & maxilla

Cysts of the jaw

Gingival cyst (newborn)

Last author update: 1 November 2013
Last staff update: 28 September 2023

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PubMed Search: Gingival cyst newborn

Related Topics: Gingival cyst (adult)

Annie S. Morrison, M.D.
Kelly Magliocca, D.D.S., M.P.H.
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Cite this page: Morrison A. Gingival cyst (newborn). website. Accessed February 26th, 2024.
Definition / general
  • Occur on palate (interchangeably referred to as palatal cysts of newborn) and along alveolar ridge
  • Epstein Pearls:
    • Originally descripted cysts along medial raphe of palate
    • Now used interchangeably for palatal and gingival cysts of newborns
  • Bohn Nodules:
    • Cysts originating from palatal glands, scattered across hard and soft palate
    • Now used interchangeably for palatal and gingival cysts of newborns
  • Alveolar Cyst:
    • Gingival cysts of newborn occurring along alveolar ridge
  • Gingival cysts of newborn arise after fourth month in utero, during tooth development
  • Common, some estimate at least 50% of newborns have gingival cysts that spontaneously resolve
  • Occur along alveolar ridge, while palatal cysts occur along midline of posterior hard palate or anterior soft palate
  • Arise from epithelial remnants of deeply budding dental lamina after fourth month in utero and are present at birth
Clinical features
  • Multiple (usually fewer than six), yellow-white sessile to pearl-like papules, 1 - 4 mm
  • Superficial (rupture easily)
  • Some resemblance to milia
Case reports
  • None; spontaneously rupture with cyst lining incorporated into oral mucosa
Clinical images

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Palatal cyst of newborn

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Gingival cyst of newborn

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Small cysts lined with attenuated stratified squamous epithelium, fibrovascular stroma, without inflammatory cells
  • Cysts are filled with keratin debris and concentric layers of keratin
Differential diagnosis
  • Epidermoid cyst: most common location is floor of mouth, large size
  • Congenital eruption cysts around natal teeth
Additional references
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