BABY TEETHING: WHEN, SIGNS, RELIEF - Dr. Samuel
April 14 2021
Teething, also known as tooth eruption, is a natural process that occurs when teeth are coming into the mouth for the first time. Even though it is a normal process during your child's development, it can be accompanied by some oral symptoms and general discomfort.
When Does Baby Teething Happen?
Usually, the first signs of teeth eruption occur around the 6th month, and the first teeth to appear are the front teeth of the lower jaw. Of course, every teething is different, and some children come out from the womb with teeth already while others have them at four months. The exact time of eruption depends on the child's development, stimulus, and metabolism.
However, when teething occurs, the process takes about 8 days approximately; 4 days before the tooth comes out and 4 days after they are in the mouth.
What Are The Symptoms of Baby Teething?
Although some babies can have their teeth eruption without any discomfort, the following are some of the signs and symptoms frequently associated with it:
- Red and irritated gums.
- Tenderness and swelling of the gums around the tooth.
- Drooling, which can cause other problems like face irritation.
- General irritability, leading to crying and fussiness.
- Ear rubbing, especially on the emerging tooth's side.
- Increase gnawing and biting.
- And thumb sucking or finger biting, sometimes even putting their whole hand in their mouth.
Remember that a child can have none or multiple of these signs and symptoms at once. Thereby, they vary depending on each particular case.
Does Teething Cause Fever and Systemic Symptoms?
Even though baby teething can cause discomfort or mild pain in children’s gums, it is not directly related to sickness or systemic symptoms.
Therefore, symptoms like fever, diarrhea, rhinorrhea, congestions, skin rash, and appetite loss are not usual teething manifestations.
Moreover, there is no scientific evidence proving that tooth eruption can lead to these affections, driving to high controversy among clinicians. Some of these misconceptions can drive the parents to overlook other diseases and conditions, attributing these vital symptoms to a simple baby teething. Thereby, it is recommendable to visit your pediatrician if you notice any of the signs listed above.
Why Can Teething Cause Discomfort?
Every tooth develops beneath the gums and inside the jawbones in the first growth stage. These early teeth come out towards the mouth after a few months by breaking through the gums. Naturally, this gum rupture is the reason for the itching, mild pain, and discomfort in the baby. Nonetheless, this is a natural and necessary process required for every tooth to appear in the mouth and perform its functions.
What Can I Do to Relieve Teething Problems?
In most cases, children's teething can be solved with nonpharmacological approaches like using teething rings and pacifiers, feeding them with hard bread, or massaging the gums with wet gauze, a spoon, or a finger. However, some cases might require the use of topic anesthetics or analgesics.
Nevertheless, remember that your baby will develop 20 teeth in its first 36 months approximately. Therefore, be ready for the possibility and keep visiting your dentist and physician.
--- By Dr. Samuel I A Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S) from Central University of Venezuela. He is also the Member of the National College of Dental Surgeon of Venezuela. Boasts almost 10 years experience in general dentistry.
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