Doctor's Notes on Teething
Teething refers to the eruption of teeth in the gums, commonly referring to babies acquiring their primary teeth. Teething is a normal process that usually occurs between 6-24 months of age. However, babies may get their first tooth and begin teething anywhere from 4-10 months of age. A relatively rare condition, "natal" teeth, means there is the presence of a tooth at birth. This happens in about 1 out of every 2,000-3,000 live births.
Symptoms of teething, when present, usually begin a few days before eruption of a tooth. Symptoms and signs of teething include:
- gum and jaw discomfort,
- a slightly swollen or red area at the site of the erupting tooth, and
- sometimes a blister over the involved area.
Associated symptoms can include:
- increased drooling,
- mild rash around the mouth,
- putting hands in the mouth, and
- refusal of food.
What Is the Treatment for Teething?
Home remedies that can help ease a baby’s teething symptoms may include:
- Rubbing the baby’s gums with a clean finger or wet gauze
- Using a cold spoon or a chilled teething ring (these should be chilled, never frozen)
- Over-the-counter pain control remedies such as children’s ibuprofen or acetaminophen
It is best to avoid topical teething remedies that contain lidocaine or benzocaine, which can be harmful to babies. Certain homeopathic teething remedies have also been shown to contain chemicals that can cause health risks to babies.
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Can Teething Make A Baby Lethargic?Pain from teething may disrupt a baby’s normal sleep habits, which can lead to more daytime sleepiness that can result in symptoms of lethargy. Lethargy is a lack of energy, sluggishness, apathy or indifference, or laziness.
Pain MedicationsThe effects of pain medication are different for each person. Pain also varies in tolerance as well from person to person. There are several different pain medications such as NSAIDS, acetaminophen, and narcotics. The most commonly prescribed narcotics are morphine (MS Contin, Avinza, Kadain, Oramorph), oxycodone (OxyContin, Roxicodone, M-oxy, ETH-Oxydose, Oxyfast, OxylR), fentanyl (Duragesic, Fentanyl Patch), oxymorphone (Opana), and methadone (Methadose) Narcotic pain medications can lead to physical addiction. Symptoms of physical addiction to narcotics include flu-like symptoms, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bone aches, feeling like you are "crawling out of your skin," goose bumps, chills, tremor, and difficulty sleeping. These symptoms are all medical concerns and should be treated medically.
Rash (Causes, Types, and Cures)A rash is a visible skin outbreak. Examples of noninfectious rashes include eczema, psoriasis, contact dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, rosacea, hives, and allergic dermatitis. Types of infectious rashes include ringworm, impetigo, scabies, herpes, chickenpox, and shingles. Rashes may be caused by fungi, viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Treatment depends upon the type of rash.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.