Signs and symptoms of teething children

The symptoms of teething vary from one infant to another. Some babies do not have any symptoms at all when their teeth come in. Others may become mildly irritable, begin to drool, lose their appetite, or cry more than usual. In some cases, vomiting and fever can accompany teething


Many people believe that vomiting while teething is normal. However, most experts now agree that teething does not cause generalised symptoms, such as vomiting, fever, rash, and diarrhoea.

Teething occurs when an infant’s teeth first begin to break through the gums. This typically takes place between the ages of 6 and 12 months.

The two front teeth on the lower jaw usually appear first, with the other front teeth following. Molars are next to break through in most cases, with the canines arriving last.

By the age of 3 years, children usually have their full set of 20 baby teeth.

As it takes place over such a broad timespan, parents and caregivers often attribute many symptoms to teething. However, it is more likely that another condition, such as an infection, is causing these additional symptoms.

It can be helpful to understand which symptoms are normal and which are not when it comes to teething.

Typical symptoms of teething include:

  • Chewing on objects
  • Crying more than usual
  • Mild difficulty sleeping
  • Drooling more than usual
  • Fussiness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Red, sore, tender, or swollen gums

A slight rise in body temperature (not over 38 degrees Celsius)

Research suggests that the symptoms of teething peak as the front teeth appear, which tends to occur between 6 and 16 months of age. As children get older, they are likely to experience fewer and milder symptoms when new teeth come through.

Teething does not typically cause the following symptoms:

  • Congestion
  • A cough
  • Diarrhoea
  • High fever
  • Increased number of stools
  • Rash
  • Refusal of liquids
  • Vomiting

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Prof and Dr Shakira Savaskar, head of the paediatrics department at Dr Vaishampaiyan Memorial Government Medical College, said, “Teeth erupt usually after six months of age. It could be an easy process or a very difficult one. Children have symptoms of teething 2 to 3 months before eruption. Complaints could be irritability because of pain, excessive drooling of saliva, mild fever because of inflammation and swelling of gums , loose stools as child is putting everything in the mouth and biting it, disturbed sleep because of pain, doesn’t feed properly. Reassure the mother. Rub the gums with a clean finger. Give a washed spoon or tethering rings to bite. At times it may require a paracetamol.”

Dr Mahesh Mali, a dentist, said, “Children tend to get a fever or have loose motions when they start developing teeth. They chew on whatever they find. Although, there isn’t a direct link between teething and fever. Parents should be very cautious during the time in which their babies are teething. They should give their kids pieces or carrots, beetroots or any fibre-rich vegetable to chew on.”

With inputs from Medical News Today