Teething and Tooth Eruption

As teeth begin to erupt into the mouth, many children may experience some discomfort or sleepless nights. Teeth always tend to erupt according to the Circadian Rhythm, and go through their greatest amount of eruption at nighttime. This is why many children may have difficulty going to sleep or being fussy during periods of tooth eruption.

Many children like a clean teething ring, cool spoon, or cold wet washcloth. Some parents swear by a chilled ring; others simply rub the babys gums with a clean finger.

Experts disagree about whether teething actually causes symptoms like fussiness, coughing, fever and diarrhea or whether it is just a coincidence that these common maladies occur at the same time as teeth are erupting. While some lucky parents report no apparent negative side effects, many others maintain that their teething babies do suffer discomfort.

If your child is showing discomfort during teething, the symptoms he/she may experience include:

  • Excessive drooling, which may lead to a rash on the face or chest
  • Gum swelling and sensitivity
  • Irritability or fussiness
  • Low-grade fever (rare)
  • Refusing food
  • Rubbing of ears and cheeks
  • Sleep problems
  • Urge to bite on hard objects

As a tooth erupts, a watery sac (eruption cyst) may develop. Eruption cysts are usually harmless and should be left alone. As a tooth pushes through the gum, it will eventually rupture the sac.

If symptoms develop during teething, they usually occur approximately four days before and up to three days after the tooth erupt.

Mild teething symptoms that gradually improve should not cause concern. However, contact your pediatrician if your baby’s symptoms are severe or persist. Fever, diarrhea, frequent ear pulling, coughs and severe diaper rashes are not normal teething symptoms. You should be especially concerned if your child has a rectal temperature of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or higher (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for babies younger than three months). When in doubt, consult with your pediatrician to determine whether your baby is showing signs of a problem that requires medical attention.

Tooth Eruption

The first baby teeth come into the mouth are the two bottom front teeth. You will notice this when your baby is about 6-8 mounths old. Next to follow will be the 4 upper front teeth and the remainder of your baby’s teeth will appear periodically. They will usually appear in pairs along the sides of the jaw until the child is about 2 1/2 years old.

At around 2 1/2 years old your child should have all 20 teeth. Between the ages of 5 and 6 the first permanent teeth will begin to erupt. Some of the permanent teeth replace baby teeth and some don’t. Don’t worry if some teeth are a few months early or late as all children are different.

Baby teeth are important as they not only hold space for permanent teeth but they are important to chewing, biting, speech and appearance.

For this reason it is important to maintain a healthy diet and daily hygiene.