Young couples, blessed with their first child, wait eagerly for the day when their baby will cut its first teeth. It is generally possible to guess when they will based on some general symptoms, sometimes alongside one or more of the others.
How early will parents be able translate the signs? That varies from baby to baby. The general symptoms to look for are briefly discussed below for the guidance of unsure parents or caretakers. Any one of the symptoms below will indicate that the teething is plaguing your household.
Drooling is the coming of an unusual amount of salivary fluid from the mouth of the baby. If you notice the baby is drooling rather heavily, the baby is getting ready to bring out its first teeth. It is said that drooling stimulates teething, and you can expect your dear baby to bring out its upper central incisors in a matter of two and a half to four months.
Rashes at the face or chin
Drooling large amounts of saliva out of the mouth can cause dry skin around the mouth, especially at the chin. You may even notice a slight rash or red spots around the lips, or at the chin, where the drool tends to fall and stay. This is because of the chemicals in saliva. While you cannot do much about the drool, which is natural, you can take care to keep wiping it off without delay.
Drooling can have another effect. It can make the baby cough. You have to be careful in diagnosing the cough. Check the baby for other causes of cough. If there is no sign of fever, flu, or allergies, then the cough could be due to drooling, and is quite normal. There is no reason to panic.
Has your baby recently begun to enjoy biting? That is a sure sign of the first teeth about to come out. This is because of the enormous pressure inside the affected gums. In this condition the baby feels relieved when it bites at things. The baby will tend to bite at anything and everything. It could be your finger if you happen to probe the mouth with it, or it could be toys. If you are breastfeeding, the baby may occasionally bite at the nipple which could be very painful. Teethers are usually given to such children to bite on. This relieves them of the discomfort.
Inflammation and Pain
Because the tooth is trying to push out through the gum, you may notice a slight inflammation of the gum. This inflammation is irritating, and the pressure of the tooth inside may cause pain to the baby. The baby may show signs of discomfort. The effect may be more pronounced in the case of the first few teeth.
As mentioned earlier, the pressure of the budding teeth inside the gum causes irritation and even pain. If the baby is unusually irritable, it is possibly due to teeth coming out. Different babies will show different levels of irritability. Some will not stop crying while others may simply show signs of being a bit uncomfortable.
Refusing to eat
While teething babies will bite at anything, they may become cranky about eating. Perhaps they will enjoy something in their mouth which they can bite at with their anterior gums, rather than pieces of food. Because of the constant irritation, they may not even like breast milk.
Cheek rubbing and ear pulling
Cheeks and ears are close to the path of the nerves which service the gums. Stresses in the gums are mistaken by the baby for irritation in the ears and cheeks. The baby may tend to pull furiously at its ears. Or it may rub the face again and again. However, you cannot just assume that this is always a sign of teething. It could be caused by an infection in the ears or throat. It is time to consult the pediatrician.
Although medical doctors don’t support this hypothesis, many grandmothers relate low grade fever and diarrhea to teething. Some babies may even tend to jerk their heads.
How Your Dentist or Doctor Can Help
It’s a good idea to try to have your baby in to see a dentist as soon as they start cutting their first tooth, or sooner to examine the oral cavity for any future issues a dentist’s eyes are trained to spot. If you’re ever unsure about symptoms your baby is having, it’s always a good idea to seek professional help such as a doctor or dentist. Parents tend to know their child best and if anything is exceptionally out of the ordinary.
If you’re looking for a dentist in the Arlington Texas area, we’d like to encourage you to come check out our office and meet our staff. We’ll make sure your whole family’s oral health is taken care of from the first tooth to the last and beyond.