Teething is the most painful period for the infant and also for the parents. Babies become strange when their teeth start to grow from the gums. The gums are swelling and red and the baby is drooling, and sometimes there is fever, diarrhea, cough and cold. Babies are most uncomfortable at night because of the discomfort caused such as the irritation and pain in the gums.
Teething is considered by some people as the gateway between the newborn period and later infancy where babies uses their new teeth in exploring new textures and flavors of food. Teething is important to the normal development and those who are late in teething might be behind with other children in areas such as fine motor control and oral abilities. Teething helps babies in exploring their environment in new ways and helps them use their hands and fingers in bringing objects and food into their mouths.
Symptoms of teething
- The baby is irritable, coughing, drooling, ear pulling and has trouble sleeping.
- Rash on the chin
- Teething babies usually bites and chew everything they see around them.
- The gums inside the mouth are red and swelling and some babies develops symptoms of cold such as runny nose or sneezing.
Usually, baby teeth arrive in pairs, the lower central incisors grows when the baby is 6 months and then followed by the upper central incisors by the 8th month. After a couple of months, the lower and the upper lateral incisors will grow. On the 14th month of the baby, the first molar will grow and the canines in the 18th month. The second molar will appear once the child reaches 2 years old.
Causes of teething
Mild fever and congestion during teething is common in babies. Any inflammatory change that happens in the body is a normal physiological process. The inflammation in gums as the teeth grow can trigger an increase in the body temperature.
Sometimes, there is diarrhea with teething which can be caused by infection that can happen as the baby has a tendency of chewing anything that he/she can see. The germs found in the intestinal tract will cause fever as its symptom.
Fever that happens during teething may be due to ear infection which is common in babies. The growing tooth produces pressure on the ear canal and sinuses, resulting to the blockage of the fluids and if there is growth of bacteria, it can cause fever.
Treatment and home remedies
- Bathe the baby using warm water. When there is fever, the body temperature is raised. Using lukewarm water and sponging will help absorb the heat and bring down the body temperature. Make sure the water is not too hot or too cold, it should be lukewarm.
- Massage the gums of the baby using the fingers since it helps in minimizing pain and relieves pressure from inside the gums.
- Give the baby frozen slices of banana in order to minimize pain and reduce pressure on the gums.
- The baby should wear loose fitting clothes and avoid covering the baby with plenty of clothing.
- If the baby has diarrhea, give the baby plenty of fluids in order to avoid dehydration and continue with breastfeeding.
- Give the baby a cold chewing ring or a washcloth immersed in cold water, babies find relief by chewing cold objects.
- If fever is too high, seek medical help immediately.