When a baby's teeth is trying to erupt at round 6 months of age, that period becomes a trying time for most mum's. Teething is normally associated with gum and jaw discomfort as the baby's tooth prepares to break through the gum surface. As the tooth moves beneath the surface of the gum tissue, the area may appear slightly red or swollen. You also find that some teeth become more sensitive than others when they erupt such as the larger molars which cause more discomfort due to their larger surface area making it harder to "slice" through the gum tissue as an erupting incisor is capable of doing.
Onset of teething symptoms always precedes the eruption of a tooth by several days. While a baby's first tooth can appear between 4 and 10 months of age, the first tooth usually breaks through later at approximately 6 months as mentioned earlier.
In very rare cases, some babies may even be born with a tooth already visible. Usually, this surprising malformed tooth is a unique appearance in an otherwise normal child. If this possibility exists, consultation with a pediatrician can be helpful.
Teething Signs and Symptoms:
Common signs and symptoms of a teething baby include; -
- Drooling which can cause a facial rash
- Swollen, sensitive gums due to the teeth trying to erupt.
- A tooth visible below the gum.
- Irritability or fussiness as the sore gums that come with teething are likely to make your baby feel more than a little irritable.
- Trouble sleeping due to the discomfort from the swelling and soreness.
- Trying to bite, chew, and suck on everything to help relieve the pressure they feel on their gums.
- Refusing to eat because their mouth hurts.
- Rubbing face and ears may seem unusual but they might do so help relieve the pain.
If your baby has diarrhea, a fever, prolonged fussiness, rashes on the body or a runny nose, don't dismiss it as a sign of teething, especially if the symptoms last longer than 24 hours.
Remedies for teething
- Apply gentle pressure on the gums by gently rubbing the gums with a clean finger or having the child bite down on a clean washcloth.
- If the pain seems to be causing feeding problems, sometimes a different-shaped nipple or use of a sippy cup may reduce discomfort and improve feeding.
- Cold objects may also help reduce the inflammation.
- If your baby is eating solid foods, you might offer something edible for biting such as a peeled and chilled cucumber or carrot. However, keep a close eye on your baby because any pieces that break off might pose a choking.
- Using a teether. A teether is an object designed for a baby to bite on during teething.
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