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Maternal and Child Health Bureau logoA Health Professionals Guide to Pediatric Oral Health Management
HomeModuleModule 1: An Introduction to Infants' and Young Children's Oral HealthModule 2: Managing Infants' and Young Children's Oral HealthModule 3: Oral Conditions and AbnormalitiesModule 4: Prevention of Oral DiseaseModule 5: Non-Nutritive Sucking HabitsModule 6: Oral InjuryModule 7: Infants and Young Children with Special Health Care NeedsContentsGlossaryEvaluationHelp
Module 3: Oral Conditions and Abnormalities
Module Contents
3.1 Recognizing Healthy Teeth, Soft Tissues, and Facial Bones
3.2 Healthy Teeth
3.3 Healthy Soft Tissues
Lips, Tongue, and
Oral Mucosa
Frena & Gingiva
Major Salivary Glands
3.4 Healthy Facial Bones
3.5 Tooth Conditions and Abnormalities
Dental Caries
Untreated Tooth Decay
Hypodontia & Anodontia
Amelogenesis Imperfecta
Dentinogenesis Imperfecta
Extrinsic and Intrinsic Enamel Coloration
3.6 Soft Tissue Conditions and Abnormalities
Epithelial Cysts (current page)
Congenital Epulis (current page)
Natal or Neonatal Teeth (current page)
Eruption Cysts (current page)
Fibroma & Papilloma
Key Points
Additional Resources

3.6 Soft Tissue Conditions and Abnormalities, continued

Epithelial Cysts

photo of epithelial cysts
  Fig 20. Epithelial Cysts

Epithelial cysts (Figure 20) are sometimes present shortly after birth. They appear as white nodules on or near the midline of the palate or on the alveolar ridges (the part of the jaw where the teeth arise). They usually spontaneously fall off and generally require no treatment.


Congenital Epulis

photo of congenital epulis
  Fig 21. Congenital Epulis

A congenital epulis (Figure 21) is a localized pedunculated (attached by a stalk-like base) or sessile (fixed) smooth-surfaced lesion that is pink to red in color. It may be present at birth and is usually located in the upper anterior jaw. It may cause feeding problems and, depending on its size and the degree to which it interferes with feeding, may need to be surgically removed.


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See our family friendly materials with important oral health information in English and Spanish for pregnant women and parents of infants and young children.


Natal or Neonatal Teeth

photo of natal teeth
  Fig 22. Natal Teeth

At birth or shortly afterwards, there may be swollen tissue in the midline of the lower jaw. When the tissue is felt, calcified tissue may be noted, or a toothlike object may be visible. These are natal (at birth) or neonatal (after birth) teeth, which are usually poorly formed and quite mobile (Figure 22). Ninety percent of the teeth are primary teeth, not supernumerary teeth. They can interfere with feeding and may need to be removed.


Eruption Cysts

photo of eruption cysts
  Fig 23.
Eruption Hematoma

Eruption cysts (Figure 23) are associated with erupting primary and permanent teeth. They appear as bluish and translucent dome-shaped soft tissue lesions overlying an erupting tooth. An eruption cyst results from fluid accumulation within the space surrounding the erupting tooth. When the fluid in the cyst is mixed with blood, the cyst is referred to as an eruption hematoma. No treatment is typically needed, because the tooth erupts through the lesion, which disappears spontaneously.[6]

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logo: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau