Newborn Care – Mouth

Dental Care

It’s important to brush teeth as soon as they come out. Please click here for more information:

Sucking blisters

Tiny blisters can appear on your newborn’s lip after several days. This is usually caused by friction from sucking during feedings. The blisters will normally resolve within a few days or weeks.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Small blisters on the top and/or bottom lip
  • Usually painless


These blisters do not require treatment and will usually resolve within a few days to a few weeks. If blisters continue to form after several weeks, your newborn may have a latching issue, causing them to latch on to the nipple with their lips.

Tips to establish good latching

  • Touch the nipple to your baby’s lips to encourage them to open their mouths.
  • When your baby’s mouth is wide open, with their chin lowered and tongue down, place the nipple in their mouth, turned up toward the roof of the mouth.
  • Other conditions such as tongue-tied and lip-tied conditions may also impact your baby’s ability to properly latch, leading to more blistering.

Tongue Tie

Tongue tie is a condition where the lingual frenulum, the flap of skin connecting the tongue to the bottom of the mouth, is shorter or thicker than usual, which can cause issues with tongue movement.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Difficulty when trying to lift or move the tongue.
    • May appear heart-shaped or misshapen
  • Difficulty with feeding


If the tongue tie is minor, no intervention may be necessary. Often, a minor procedure called a frenotomy is performed to divide the tongue tie. The procedure is usually painless and only takes a few minutes.

Lip Tie

Lip tie, similar to tongue-tie, is a condition where the flap of skin connecting the lip to the top of the gums (frenulum) is too short or tight, limiting the range the lip can move.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Difficulty latching during feeding
  • Limited movement of upper lip
    • May appear misshapen


Minor lip tie does not usually require intervention, though certain techniques help loosen the lip tie including gently sliding a finger along the top of the baby’s lip. A minor procedure called a frenotomy may be performed to separate the frenulum. A small cut is made in the frenulum to allow for greater movement.

Gingival cysts (Epstein’s Pearls and Bohn’s Nodules)

This is a very common condition in newborn babies. These are small, whitish-yellow cysts that can be found in several areas of the mouth. They are caused by tissue becoming trapped during normal development. The cysts have different names depending on their location.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Small, firm whitish-yellow cysts
  • Referred to as Epstein’s Pearls when found on the roof of the mouth (palate)
  • Referred to as Bohn’s Nodules when found on the gums
  • Painless


There is no treatment needed for gingival cysts. The cysts will usually resolve within 1-2 weeks as the friction from breastfeeding or bottle feeding will help quickly break down the bumps.

Thrush (oral candidiasis)

Thrush is an oral yeast infection. It is very common in newborns. Most people have the fungus that causes this condition in their mouths and digestive systems, but our bodies normally control it. A newborn’s immune system is still immature, so the fungus can end up overgrowing and causing the infection.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Cracked skin in the corners of the mouth
  • White patches on the lips, tongue, or inside the cheeks
    • Cottage cheese appearance
    • Cannot be easily wiped away


Thrush can clear up on its own, usually in 1-2 weeks. Your doctor may choose to prescribe an antifungal solution that you will apply to the inside of the mouth and tongue.


  • Make sure you thoroughly clean all nipples and pacifiers in hot water after each use. In addition, store milk and prepared bottles in the refrigerator.
  • If you are breastfeeding and your nipples become red and sore, you may have a yeast infection on your nipple. If this is the case, talk to your doctor. They may prescribe a topical cream for you