For many babies the teething experience can be extremely painful. Given that the teething process involves the movement of teeth through gums on a newly developed jawbone, it is likely that your baby will experience some discomfort at some stage of the teething process. The following symptoms are amongst the most common:
- A slightly raised temperature – use a baby thermometer to check your baby’s temperature is not at fever levels of 38°c or above.
- Excessive dribble – dribbling is a common symptom of teething as the gums produce extra saliva to provide lubrication for teeth coming through.
- Facial rash – as a consequence of excessive dribbling, facial rashes are common during teething, especially around the chin and mouth.
- Sore, reddened gums – as teeth come through the gums, babies will rub them to relieve the pain. Small blisters may appear and there may even be some light bleeding.
- Irritability – the pain of teething will turn your bundle of joy irritable, grumpy and restless. Disturbed sleep is common – for baby and parents!
- Poor appetite – the pain and discomfort of teething will put your baby off food for a while. Be sure they get plenty of fluids and encourage them with treats like sugar free ice lollies
- Chewing – chewing helps baby ease the pain of teething.
While the above symptoms are very normal, you should also watch out for the following symptoms, which may be a sign of a more serious problem.
- Vomiting and diarrhea – while this may be a natural side effect of excessive dribbling, it may be a sign of a stomach infection and if persistent vomiting occurs, you should consult your doctor.
- Fever – A temperature of 38°c or above indicates fever. While a slight rise in temperature is normal during teething, fever is likely the symptom of another condition and you should contact our doctor.
- Earache – this may be due to the development of baby’s jawbone, but it could be a sign of an ear infection. If it is persistent, worsens and effects hearing, consult your doctor.
- Coughing – common during teething, coughing is caused by excess dribble and mucus running down baby’s throat and irritating the throat and chest. If the cough is persistent and accompanied by other symptoms such as high temperature, you should contact your doctor.