Babies cry for a lot of different reasons, but when the crying is accompanied by fever, drooling and lack of sleep, parents attribute it to baby’s teeth trying to pierce the gums.
However, a new study feature in the journal Pediatrics shows that high-grade fevers are rarely an indication of baby teething, but possibly a sign that some other illness needs to be attended to.
Teething symptoms have been identified by the study’s researchers as crankiness, swollen gums, and excessive drooling; they also noted these symptoms should last three to five days at most before the first signs of teeth are observed.
According to Paul Casamassimo at the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry who was not involved in the study, parents should not just assume that teething is responsible for a baby’s high fever, lack of appetite and significant discomfort.
Based on the limited evidence we have on teething, “primary tooth eruption” is characterized by several symptoms. Among the most common are irritability, gingival inflammation, and drooling.
However, as far as fever is concerned, researchers found that body temperature analyses proved that teething is not associated with fever, only with a slight and occasional rise in temperature.
Parents often don’t know if the baby’s crankiness is related to teething or illness, but Minu George at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, New York, advises parents to start worrying if the baby’s temperature goes over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
It’s widely known that fevers are the body’s emergency response to an infection in the organism, so parents should be more attentive when the baby spikes a fever as it might be related to an undiagnosed illness or infection.
One of the reasons why high fevers and teething might have been connected in the past is because babies at the age of teeth eruption tend to be an easy target for all sorts of infections, as explained by Rosie Roldan at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, Miami.
She added that parents should not attribute to teething diarrhea that doesn’t disappear quickly and blisters or sores around the mouth. Roldan said that parents should contact a doctor for symptoms like these.
When babies do teeth, experts recommend that parents ease their discomfort with the help of teething toys or simply by applying a cold rag.
In severe situations, infant pain relievers could also be used, but doctors advise against them because of their side effects – tooth decay and liver disease in children.
Image Source: Baby Teething Ease