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Newborn & baby health centre

Symptoms of teething

NHS ChoicesMedical Reference

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Some babies do not feel any pain during teething, while others can be severely affected. The pain is caused by movement within the developing jaw bone as the new teeth make their way through the gums.

Some teeth may come through easily, while others cause pain and discomfort. Once the teeth have emerged, the discomfort normally stops.

Your baby may have a number of other symptoms while they are teething. These are usually mild and go away without the need for treatment. They include:

  • a slightly raised temperature but not a fever (a fever is a temperature of 38ºC (100.4ºF) or above)
  • facial rash - your baby's cheeks may be flushed
  • reddened gums - the gums may be swollen and tender when they are pressed, and your child may rub their gums
  • excessive dribbling - this may cause a red rash to develop on their chin
  • poor appetite - your baby may be more reluctant to eat as a result of the pain in their gums
  • chewing - you may find your baby starts chewing more (it may be toys or other objects, or their fingers)
  • restlessness and irritability - the pain of teething may also cause crying
  • disturbed sleep

Some people attribute a wide range of symptoms to teething, such as diarrhoea and fever. However, there is no research to prove that these other symptoms are linked.

You know your baby best. If their behaviour seems unusual, or their symptoms are severe or causing you concern, then seek medical advice. You can call NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or contact your GP.

Medical Review: June 29, 2010

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