Symptoms and causes of teething in children and managing it


When your baby’s first tooth shows up, then you can feel surprised or you can understand the signs and symptoms of Teething condition. You should know that every baby experience this condition differently. Some babies virtually have no symptoms while other babies are experiencing teething pain for months. But there are some signs which can help you to watch the developmental milestone approaches which can help make teething easier for you and your baby.

When do babies start teething

Teeth symptoms can precede the actual appearance of a tooth by as much as 2 or 3 months. Most babies are getting their first tooth when they are six months old but there is a wide range in when those first tiny pearly whites make their appearance. There are some infants who their first teeth erupt as early as 3 months old while there are other babies who do not get their first tooth until after the first birthday.

In what order do baby teeth appear? In the most cases the first teeth are the 2 in the bottom center of your baby’s mouth and they are followed by the 2 in the top center. Then the pattern usually goes outward with the lateral incisors which are in the next spot over and they are followed by the first molars or the molars which are closest to the opening of your baby’s mouth. After them, the canines are coming on either side of the lateral incisors and last are the second molars in the very back.

Symptoms of teething

Every parent wants to know is his baby teething. It is not easy to understand why the baby is feeling achy, wakes up with soreness in his mouth or it is bothered by an itchy chin. Here are the most common symptoms which can help you to know if your baby has teething:

Biting: The pressure from teeth poking through under the gums causes your baby a lot of discomfort. This can be revealed by counter pressure. Babies who have teething will gum whatever they can find which can vary from teething rings and rattles to your soon to be sore nipples (this is meant if you are mother who is breastfeeding) and fingers. [1]

Coughing and/or gag reflex: All that drool can make your baby to cough and gag. But this is not a sign for which you should be concern if your baby does not have other signs of allergies, flu or cold.


Teething rash: If your teething baby is drooling, the constant drip can cause rashes, redness, chapping and chafing around her/his mouth and chin and in some cases they can occur on her neck. One effective way to help prevent his/her skin from taking a hit is patting it away. Also you can create a moisture barrier using Aquaphor or Vaseline and moisturize with a gentle and unscented skin cream as needed. Also you can put some nursing cream on your baby because it can protect his tender skin. [2,3]

Drooling: It is hard for many of us to believe that so much fluid can come from the mouths of tiny babies but as we know this condition is stimulating drooling and the waterworks are on for many babies starting from about ten weeks to 3 or 4 months of age or older. If you have noticed that the shirts of your baby are constantly soggy, fasten a bib to keep him/her cleaner and comfortable and you should gently wipe his/her chin throughout the day to stave off chapping. [1]

Pulling of ears and rubbing of chin and cheeks: Babies can be quite administered and resourceful self massage. By rubbing and pulling around their jaw, they are creating counter pressure which eases some of the pain and throbbing.

Decreased appetite: When your baby is in pain, then he/she does not want to eat, especially since this condition is triggering their sore spots. You should try to feed them as much as possible despite the resistance. If you have noticed that his/her caloric input has decreased dramatically, then you should talk with your doctor. [4]

Fussier than usual, especially at night: These symptoms are making babies who once slept through the night to start waking up several times for comfort. When the quiet hours of night are starting, then your baby often feels that his/her teething pain more because there are fewer distractions. [5]


[1] Noor-Mohammed R, Basha S. Teething disturbances; prevalence of objective manifestations in children under age 4 months to 36 months. Medicina Oral, Patologia Oral, Cirugia Bucal. 2012;17(3):e491–4.

[2] Wake M, Hesketh K, Lucas J. Teething and tooth eruption in infants: A cohort study. Pediatrics. 2000;106(6):1374-9.

[3] Macknin ML, Piedmonte M, Jacobs J, Skibinski CI. Symptoms associated with infant teething: A prospective study. Pediatrics. 2000;105(4 Pt 1):747-52.

[4] Holt RD. Symptoms associated with teething. Evidence-Based Dentistry. 2000;2:68.

[5] Amarasena N, Lalloo R. Teething and sleep difficulties: findings from the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. 2015;39(4):396.


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