As well as the timing of infant teething, symptoms that accompany this process can be quite diverse, and even vary from case to case in the same baby. For many babies and their parents, the teething process is quite complicated and painful; in other cases, the child shows no sign of eruption of teeth, and the happy parents notice his new teeth quite by accident.
The first signs of baby teething
The first signs that a baby is teething are strong salivation and painful, swollen gums. These teething symptoms can appear a month or two before the tooth can be seen. Because of the discomfort and pain, some children may be restless when sleeping, act fussy, lose their appetite and be willing to grind a variety of solid objects or keep their fingers in their mouth.
Closer to the time of the tooth eruption, a bulging whitish or thin white line can be seen at the gum. It produces a characteristic ringing clatter if gently knocked with a teaspoon (this is sometimes done by enterprising parents).
The opinions of doctors diverge as to whether teething causes symptoms such as diarrhea, runny nose, cough, and fever. Despite the fact that in certain cases the link between the deterioration of the child’s condition and the appearance of teeth is obvious, most doctors do not include fever, the appearance of the common cold, cough and diarrhea in the list of possible manifestations of teething. This attitude has a logical explanation: in many cases, teething can take the first 2-3 years of a baby’s life, which coincides with the period of greatest risk of various infections. However, it is wrong and dangerous to “write off” each episode of fever, cough, or diarrhea as being due to teething.
That being said, fever, the common cold, a slightly wet cough, and diarrhea possibly occur quite often during teething.
The temperature increase during teething is associated with the release of a large number of biologically active substances in the growth zone of the tooth. In most cases, fever while teething does not exceed 38.5 C – 39 C and lasts for 1-2 days.
In all cases, visit a doctor when the child’s temperature exceeds 39 C or lasts longer than 2 days.
The appearance of diarrhea during teething is due to the strong salivation (the baby swallows a lot of saliva) and the acceleration of intestinal motility. Diarrhea during teething is usually watery, not very frequent (2-3 times per day), and lasts no more than 1-3 days.
In all cases, when a child develops frequent watery or bloody diarrhea (more than 3 times per day), which is characteristic of an intestinal infection, there is a good reason to visit a doctor.
A runny nose during teething is explained by the increased mucus glands of the nasal cavity. A runny nose during teething is watery (transparent mucus), not very abundant, and lasts no more than 3-4 days. Treating runny noses in children during teething is better limited to clearing mucus from the nose.
In all cases, when child has copious purulent (greenish or whitish runny nose), which is accompanied by severe nasal congestion and lasts more than 3 days – you should take the child to a doctor.
The appearance of wet cough during teething – is due to an accumulation of saliva in the throat, which is secreted in large quantities during the eruption of the teeth. Cough during teething is rare; it increases in the supine position and is held for 2-3 days. This kind of cough doesn’t require treatment.
In all cases, when a child’s cough is frequent, accompanied by the release copious sputum, dyspnea, and lasts longer than 2 days – you should take the child to a doctor.
In order not to confuse teething with any disease, we recommend all parents call a doctor in cases of fever, the appearance of a runny nose, diarrhea or cough in a child.