Some parents visit their dentist with concerns that a rash has erupted around the cheeks, chin, mouth, or chest of their infant. This “rash” is a healthy body phenomenon that occurs two to three days prior to or after the eruption of a tooth.
Cause of Teething Rash
Excessive drooling in infants during tooth eruption has been shown to be the major cause of teething rash. While the teeth are erupting, the surrounding gums get inflamed and swollen. As a physiological response, the body releases excessive amounts of saliva to provide cooling to the inflamed gums. This saliva flows out of the oral cavity and reaches the lips, cheeks, and the chest. As a result, these regions remain moistened with saliva, and get accumulated with fungal and bacterial pathogens, causing the development of rash over the body that resolves as soon as the tooth has erupted and the salivary flow has come back to normal. It should be kept in mind that salivary flow can also be enhanced if the child is having any gastric disturbances or an allergic reaction.
Management of Teething Rash
Maintenance of the general and oral hygiene is foremost in preventing any unwanted condition while the baby is teething. Most pediatric dentists and pediatricians recommend that the saliva should be immediately wiped off from the body using a soft and clean cloth, so that a bacterial or fungal infection cannot progress. A mild baby cream, recommended by the pediatrician, can also be applied to the face and the chest. Moisture barriers, such as Vaseline and Aquaphor, can be applied over the skin to prevent penetration of saliva.
Parents must frequently change the clothes of their infants in order to prevent stagnation of saliva. Giving your baby a daily bath will also ensure good hygiene and minimize chances of a rash.
Teething rings can be given to the infants. They serve by reducing the irritation caused by tooth eruption and can prevent excessive salivary drooling. Apart from that, the parents must realize that teething is a natural process and should not worry too much about it. Any untoward incidence can be prevented by taking strict care of the child’s oral and general hygiene. Furthermore, parents should refrain from trying any unproven techniques to speed up the teething process as this may result in various other adverse effects.
Since teething is an uncomfortable situation, every effort must be made to make the child comfortable. Cool drinks and foods have been shown to reduce gingival inflammation and irritation. Any painkiller approved by the pediatrician can also be given to reduce pain and fever.
What to Do if Symptoms Persist?
Symptoms of this rash usually fade off within two or three days. However, if symptoms persist beyond this period, it is recommended that parents should take their child to the pediatric dentist or pediatrician, as it could be indicative of another medical condition, such as eczema or anallergy, in which case a medical intervention might be required.