Common Teething Symptoms

Teething symptoms can vary a lot from baby to baby, because the teething process is different for every baby. Some parents find that their children are completely miserable during teething, while others find that their babies sprout teeth effortlessly, with no adverse symptoms at all. No one can predict exactly what symptoms, if any, your baby will experience, but here are some symptoms of teething you may notice in your child.

  • Biting and Chewing: Teething babies will typically chew on anything and everything. If you notice your little one mouthing things more than usual, she may be doing it to relieve the pressure on her sore gums.
  • Fussiness: The discomfort that many babies experience while teething can cause them to become fussy and irritable.
  • Disrupted Sleep: Discomfort from teething can cause your baby to have trouble sleeping.
  • Drooling: Your baby's new teeth pushing through the gums stimulates drooling. In some babies, the increase in drooling is quite significant, while other babies don't seem to have any increase in drooling.
  • Coughing: All that drooling can cause some babies to cough. If your baby develops a cough, it is important to rule out the possibility of other illness. If your baby has a cough, consult your pediatrician, particularly if it's accompanied by a runny nose or a fever.
  • Rash: Another side effect of all that drool is that it can sometimes cause the skin around his mouth and down to the chin to become chapped or irritated.
  • Ear Pulling: This symptom is more likely when the molars begin to arrive. The discomfort at the back of the mouth can feel like it's in the ears, causing your baby to pull at her ear. If you notice your baby pulling her ear, you may want to call your pediatrician, as that can also be a sign of an ear infection.

Some symptoms that many parents attribute to teething may actually be a sign of another illness. If your child has any of these symptoms, you should consult your pediatrician immediately.

  • Diarrhea: Many parents observe that their babies suffer from diarrhea when teething. It is believed that babies who drool a lot may swallow extra saliva, which can cause loose stools. Diarrhea can also be a sign of digestive problems or the flu.
  • Low-grade fever: Many parents claim there babies will run a slight fever when teething. This may be caused by the inflammation in the gums as the new teeth emerge. It can also indicate the flu or a serious infection.

When you're trying to decide if it's teething or something else, keep in mind that some babies will have teething symptoms long before the teeth actually emerge. Do favor caution and talk to your pediatrician about changes in your baby's behavior. Be sure to keep a teething ring or teething rattle on hand, too, so that your baby has something safe to chew on.

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