Teething occurs when the first set of teeth starts to break through the gums. The process can begin in infants as early as three months old. Typically, the lower teeth start to come in first. The severity of the symptoms varies from child to child. Some children experience mild levels of discomfort, others experience a lot of discomfort.
Here are some of the common symptoms of teething.
Fussiness is a typical response to pain and discomfort for babies. The pain is caused by the emerging teeth placing pressure of the gums. Sometimes the pain is worse when the first tooth appears and decreases as more teeth erupt. Babies are known to be fussy; however, this usually subsides once the infant settles into a routine. If the baby seems fussy without reason, teething may be the culprit.
Drooling is an early sign of teething. Teething causes an increase in the amount of drool. Placing a bib around the baby’s neck will help to keep the clothing dry. The amount of drooling depends on the infant. Some infants will have a dramatic increase in the amount of drool they produce; other babies may have no noticeable change.
The increased drooling can cause chin rashes. When saliva is in constant contact with the skin, it can cause irritation around the mouth and chin. To help reduce the occurrence of rashes, keep the baby’s face free of saliva. If a rash develops, clean it with witch hazel and then apply a topical lubricant.
If there are no other signs to indicate a cold, illness or fever, coughing can be a teething symptom. This is another symptom that is connected to drooling. Excessive amounts of drool can cause the infant to cough or choke.
This symptom is debatable. Some doctors do not attribute fevers to teething. However, parents notice that there is a rise in their infant’s temperature when the babies are teething. To help reduce the fever, dress the baby in light layers or try a lukewarm bath. Consult a physician before giving an infant any over-the-counter medications.
Chewing on things like toys and fingers helps little ones alleviate the pressure teething places on the gums. Biting on objects creates counter pressure that helps lessen the pressure that is coming from underneath the gums. It is a good idea to buy teething toys. These toys are designed to safely help babies relieve the pain of teething.
As the tooth erupts from the gums, the tissue becomes irritated. The gums will appear red or puffy. The puffiness is going to be more noticeable in the front of the mouth. Letting the baby chew on a cool wash cloth can help relieve the swelling and pain.
Teething is a rite of passage for all infants. It can begin as early as three months and start as late as 12 months. Some infants experience mild teething symptoms. If this is the case, there is nothing to be concerned about. However, if the symptoms are severe and persistent, it is a good idea to consult a physician.