Infants face a number of health problems. There are those conditions that some infants are born with for various reasons including genetics. There are also diseases and illnesses that affect them after birth. While some conditions, diseases, and illnesses are life-threatening, some turn out to very minor and harmless. Indeed, some resolve on their own without any form of treatment. One such disease is palatal cysts.
At times referred to as Epstein pearls, the palatal cyst is a disease that affects over 80% of newborns.
Palatal cysts appear on an infant’s roof of the mouth as tiny nodules that can be either white or yellow in color. They can be as small as 1 mm or 3 mm in size and are usually harmless. They do not cause any discomfort to an infant and cannot encourage the development of an infection. They can also extend to an infant’s gums.
Palatal cysts start to develop before a baby is born. They particularly start to develop during the development of an unborn baby’s palate.
The palate naturally forms the roof of the mouth. It plays the major role of separating oral and nasal cavities. It also plays the important role of producing different sounds including palatal, velar, and uvular consonants in conjunction with other parts of the mouth and organs of the body.
Development of the palate is a process that also involves epithelial cells. The epithelial cells form a tissue that serves to protect other underlying tissue from radiation and toxic substances. It turns out that during the development of the epithelial tissue, some epithelium gets trapped, leading to the formation of the tiny nodules referred to as palatal cysts.
Palatal cysts do not present any health problems. The condition remains harmless and does resolve itself within two weeks after the birth of an infant. However, any palatal cysts that persist need to be examined by a pediatrician for the necessary action to be undertaken.