What is teething, anyway?
Dr. Kangos' Blogs from 2012
Many symptoms have been associated with primary tooth eruption (“teething”) in infants and toddlers. For a long time, it has been a source of dispute among doctors, nurses and parents. In fact during residency training, doctors have been taught that teething causes teeth, and nothing else in the way of symptoms!
“I think it’s just teething” is a view held off and on by many parents. It has led to confusion regarding when to bring the child in for a visit and how long to wait at home with mild symptoms.
Symptoms of Teething
A recently published article studying 5-15 month olds assessed the association of symptoms with primary tooth eruption. 13 signs and symptoms were evaluated. The most common signs and symptoms were slight elevation in temperature (not enough for “fever” designation), irritability, increased salivation (drooling!), runny nose and diminished appetite.
Diarrhea, sleep disturbance and even rash were also associated. These were less commonly observed among the infants and toddlers in the study.
Your At-Home Assessment
If mild changes in your child’s appetite, sleep, personality or energy level persist, I would recommend that your child be seen in the office. Parents’ intuition and attachment to their children almost always lead to the correct decision for each particular family. Board certified and experienced doctors and nurses are resources available for help and support.
I have great respect for the events that families experience around illness and unusual behavior/symptoms in their children. “I may have over-reacted” is always a reflection of the healthy parental bond with their child. It provides a way for Linda and myself to develop trust and collaboration in a very meaningful way.