As parents, we’ve all heard the tales of teething causing fever in infants. It’s a common belief, but is it really true? In this article, we will into the topic of teething and fever with the help of Dr. Joginder Singh, a renowned pediatrician with years of experience. So, let’s separate fact from fiction and discover the truth about teething and fever.
The Teething Process
Before we get into the connection between teething and fever, let’s understand what happens during the teething process. Teething is the natural process of a baby’s first teeth erupting through the gums. It usually begins around six months of age and continues throughout the first few years of a child’s life.
During teething, babies may experience symptoms such as increased drooling, irritability, swollen gums, and a stronger urge to chew on objects. While these symptoms are common, the notion that teething causes fever has been surrounded by controversy.
The Controversy Surrounding Teething and Fever
According to Dr. Joginder Singh, teething in itself does not directly cause fever. He explains that it is a misconception that has been perpetuated over the years. Teething is a natural biological process, and like any milestone in a child’s development, it can coincide with other factors that may cause fever.
Possible Reasons for Fever during Teething
Increased Saliva Production
Dr. Joginder Singh explains that during teething, babies tend to produce excessive saliva. This excess saliva can lead to drooling, which can irritate the skin around the mouth and chin, potentially causing a rash or skin inflammation. In some cases, this irritation may lead to a low-grade fever. It’s important to note that this fever is unrelated to the process of teething itself.
Babies often start teething around the same time they become more mobile and interact with their environment. This increased exploration exposes them to various germs and viruses, increasing the risk of contracting common illnesses, such as respiratory infections or gastroenteritis. These illnesses can cause fever, and it may coincide with the period of teething, creating a false perception that teething itself is the cause.
Teething can put a strain on a baby’s immune system, making them more susceptible to infections. As their bodies focus their energy on the teething process, their immune response may be slightly compromised, increasing the likelihood of catching an illness. Again, the timing of this weakened immune response can coincide with teething, leading to the misconception that teething causes fever.
It’s crucial to recognize that the fever experienced during teething is often low-grade and short-lived. If your child develops a high fever or shows signs of severe illness, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the root cause.
Coping with Teething Symptoms
While teething may not directly cause fever, it is crucial to address the discomfort and symptoms associated with this developmental milestone. Dr. Joginder Singh shares some tips to help ease your little one’s teething journey:
- Provide teething toys or cold, clean washcloths for your baby to chew on. The pressure helps soothe the gums and provide relief.
- Gently massage your baby’s gums with a clean finger. The circular motion can alleviate some of the discomfort associated with teething.
- Use non-medicated teething gels or ointments, specifically designed for infants, to numb the gums temporarily. However, consult with your pediatrician before using any medication.
- Maintain good oral hygiene by gently wiping your baby’s gums with a clean cloth or using a soft infant toothbrush once the first tooth appears.
Remember, each baby is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. So, explore different methods to find what provides the most relief for your little one.
In conclusion, teething itself does not directly cause fever. The belief that teething and fever go hand in hand is a misconception that has been passed down through generations. While it is common for babies to experience mild symptoms such as drooling and swollen gums during teething, any fever experienced is often a result of other factors such as increased saliva production or common illnesses coinciding with the teething phase.
As parents, it is crucial to stay informed and address our child’s discomfort during teething. By understanding the truth about teething and fever, we can provide the necessary support and comfort to our little ones as they reach this important developmental milestone.
Remember, if your child experiences a high fever or shows signs of severe illness during teething, it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.
“Teething may come with discomfort, but fever is not an inherent part of the process. Understanding the facts can help parents provide the best care for their teething babies.” – Dr. Joginder Singh