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Teething can be uncomfortable, but it shouldn't bring serious health complications. There’s no scientific evidence that fever, severe diarrhea, or a runny nose are directly related to teething, and if these symptoms persist, seek medical advice.
First things first: There’s no scientific proof that fever, diarrhea, or a runny nose are in any way connected to teething, even though many parents swear that these symptoms were directly related to the teething process. The American Association of Pediatrics, the American Dental Association and other experts dismiss these symptoms as signs of teething in children and recommend that you visit a doctor if you notice them in your baby. [123]

The Most Common Teething Symptoms

Some babies go through the teething pain relatively easy, and others may suffer through real torture, but most babies will experience some of the following teething signs and symptoms:

  • Drooling
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Irritability
  • Swollen gums
  • Loss of appetite
  • Chewing and sucking on everything
  • Face rubbing
  • Grabbing and pulling ears

According to a study conducted on 250 children, the most common symptoms of teething were increased salivation (present in 92 percent of the tested children), disturbances in sleep patterns (82.3 percent), and irritability (found in 82.3 percent of children).

Several studies found no correlation between teething and persistent diarrhea and fevers, though parents often report. Mild temperature increase is a normal teething symptom but only on the day of tooth eruption.[4] [5]

Why Does My Teething Baby Have a Fever?

My 11 month old daughter recently had a runny nose and mild temperature increase for the first time since she was born, and as the symptoms went away in couple of hours, I assigned them to teething. As she already has eight front teeth, I expected to see a molar the next day, but there’s none on the site at the moment of writing this article. Beside a few sneezes and slightly increased temperature, she was otherwise okay, and even playful the whole day.

Situations like this one can be confusing, especially for first-time parents, as they tend to get panicky more easily when it comes to baby’s health. When in doubt, it’s best to consult a doctor. And never immediately dismiss fever or a runny nose as signs of teething, more so if they last longer than a day!

While teething typically makes children irritable and miserable, it shouldn't make them sick. Most people have a body temperature of around 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit). A mild increase in temperature is indeed one of the signs of teething; but fever — a condition when the temperature goes over 38°C (100.4°F) and causes headaches, and sweating or chills — is more serious and should be monitored by a professional. [2] [6]

Fever is a defense against disease. One of the explanations why some babies have fever, diarrhea, and/or a runny nose is that they come in contact with bacteria and viruses because — to soothe the discomfort — they put dirty things in their mouth. As a result, the body fights infection by raising the temperature. Fevers usually don’t go higher than 42°C (107.6°F). [7]

Why Does My Teething Baby Have Diarrhea?

Teething is not as dangerous and scary as parents may think and it shouldn't bring health complications. If your baby experiences persistent diarrhea, it could be due to bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections and several other conditions, but not teething. [8]

Studies have shown that parents in different parts of the world considered diarrhea less serious when they thought it was caused by teething. [9]

Why Does My Baby Have a Runny Nose?

In a study conducted by the Brazilian university, Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, a runny nose was the third most frequent symptom associated with teething, right after irritability, and drooling. [5]

Experts agree that teething can cause a slight runny nose with minimal cough, but serious coughing and nasal congestion are not the results of teething and may signal an illness, so be careful. If your baby coughs and has a runny nose and the situation appears to get even worse, you should consult a pediatrician.

How to Treat Teething Pain in Infants?

Bearing in mind that teething is a natural phenomenon and that all healthy babies must teethe, many experts including pediatricians and pathologists do not recommend any drug, homeopathic treatment, or therapy of any sort for teething pain in children. [10

In the past, people used to cut open babies’ gums to help the teeth emerge. While we’re now civilized enough to know this is silly and utterly dangerous, we still make a lot of unnecessary fussiness when it comes to teething. Every action has a potential side-effect, and even though teething gels and pain-relief medications may alleviate teething pain, they should be used with caution. Just because some gel is labeled “organic” it does not mean it’s safe. [11]  It’s best to resort to more natural teething remedies such as teething toys, clean washcloth, or a gum massage.

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