font size


Teething

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

Teething facts

  • Teething is the process by which a baby's teeth erupt, or break through, the gums. Teething generally occurs between 6 to 24 months of age.
  • Symptoms of teething include irritability, tender and swollen gums, and the infant wanting to place objects or fingers into the mouth in an attempt to reduce discomfort. Fever, cough, diarrhea, and cold symptoms are not found when a child is teething.
  • Oral over-the-counter pain relievers (acetaminophen [Tylenol] or ibuprofen [Children's Advil/Motrin]) generally provide relief of symptoms.
  • Topical medications containing benzocaine may cause serious and potentially lethal side effects and should not be used to treat teething symptoms.

What is teething?

Teething is the process by which an infant's teeth erupt, or break through, the gums. Teething is also referred to as "cutting" of the teeth. Teething is medically termed odontiasis.

When do babies start teething?

The onset of teething symptoms typically 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 erupts at approximately 6 months of age. Some dentists have noted a family pattern of "early," "average," or "late" teethers.

A relatively rare condition, "natal" teeth, describes the presence of a tooth on the day of birth. The incidence of such an event is one per 2,000-3,000 live births. Usually, this single and often somewhat malformed tooth is a unique event in an otherwise normal child. Rarely, the presence of a natal tooth is just one of several unusual physical findings which make up a syndrome. If the possibility of a syndrome exists, consultation with a pediatric dentist and/or geneticist can be helpful. The natal tooth is often loose and is commonly removed prior to the newborn's hospital discharge to lessen the risk of aspiration into the lungs.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/19/2014

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Teething - Baby's First Tooth Question: How old was your baby or child when her/his first tooth appeared?
Teething - Signs and Symptoms Question: What were your baby's teething signs and symptoms?
Teething - Order of Tooth Eruption Question: Did your child's primary teeth appear in "order"?
Teething - Medications Question: Did you treat your baby with topical pain medications while he/she was teething?
Teething - Home Remedies Question: What home remedies soothed your child's teething pain?
Teething - Seeing a Dentist Question: At what age did your child first see a dentist?
Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/teething/article.htm

Parenting and Pregnancy

Get tips for baby and you.

advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations

NIH talks about Ebola on WebMD