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7 Signs And Symptoms Of Teething In Babies

Teething in babies usually starts by the age of six months, and by the age of three, all the first teeth appear. This process helps infants to start on solid food items and get the required nutrition for their growth and development.

Teething, though is a normal phase in growing children, often accompanied by various signs and symptoms which can be uncomfortable or painful for babies and could be frustrating for parents.

In this article, we will discuss various signs and symptoms of teething in babies. Take a look.

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1. Drooling

Drooling is defined as the unintentional loss of saliva from a baby's mouth. It is a common teething symptom in almost all babies and is considered a sign of healthy development. Drooling in babies can easily be managed by wiping the face or changing the clothes, however, excess drooling can be socially embarrassing and could be due to certain medical conditions such as psychological impairment. [1]

2. Increased biting

There are many reasons why babies start biting, including teething. If a baby suddenly starts sucking their fingers, chewing hard toys or putting every object in their mouth, it could be a sign of teething. Teething can cause swelling, pain or irritation in the gums, and chewing objects often help them get relief. You can ease their pain and irritation by pressing the gums softly or giving them ice or frozen rings to chew. [2]

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3. Increased crying

Pain and irritation due to teething can irritate babies and make them cry out of pain. However, it is to remember that not all babies suffer from pain as some may not feel it and pass the phase without any symptoms. According to a study, during a primary eruption of teeth, some levels of inflammatory cytokines can appear in the gingival crevicular fluid (GCF), which could cause the appearance of certain symptoms such as increased crying. The GCF is a serum made of proteins, cells and solid materials and helps detect periodontal disease. [3]

4. Feeding or eating disturbances

If you observe that your baby suddenly starts refusing to eat or feed, it could be an indication of teething. Teething can irritate the gum and make babies turn away from food to prevent the aggravation of pain that comes with swallowing food. The eruption of teeth can also reduce appetite and cause feeding and eating disturbances.

5. Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea or the passing of watery stool is among the primary symptoms of teething in babies. A cross-sectional study conducted on children aged 6-30 months with at least one primary erupted tooth has shown that among three common symptoms of teething (fever, diarrhoea and sleep problems), diarrhoea accounts for 68.5 per cent, a slightly less than fever. [4] Diarrhoea in babies can be managed by home remedies or certain antidiarrhoeal agents after consulting a medical expert.

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6. Lack of sleep

Lack of sleep or sleep disturbances account for around 63.5 per cent of the three most common symptoms during teething, after fever and diarrhoea. Similar to increased crying, sleep disturbance can also be caused due to increased levels of inflammatory cytokines in the GCF during an eruption of teeth. [3]

7. Mild temperature

The mild temperature associated with teething has always been controversial as some babies may experience the symptom while some may not. A study has shown that fever is among the most frequent symptoms reported by mothers and medical experts. Teething can raise the body temperature to greater than 37-degree-Celsius and may make babies uncomfortable. [5]

Other Common Symptoms

  • Crankiness
  • Choking accidents
  • Increased acid reflux
  • Increased flatulence
  • Gum-rubbing [6]
  • Wakefulness
  • Ear rubbing
  • Facial rash
  • Congestion
  • Increased coughing
  • Rashes
  • Vomiting
  • Mouth ulceration

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To Conclude

Teething can be both a joyful and painful phase for babies. Though home remedies can easily help ease most of the symptoms of teething, it is good to consult a medical expert if the pain and uncomfortableness exist for longer.

Read more about: teething babies postnatal motherhood