Teething: pain and symptoms – Paul Miller, M.D., F.A.A.P.

We named him ‘baby’
He had a toothache
He started crying
It sounded like an earthquake
— White Stripes, The Hardest Button to Button

This weeks’s topic is teething pain and symptoms. A recent study
published in Pediatrics March 2016 (Signs and Symptoms of Primary Tooth Eruption: a Meta-Analysis) included a review of 10 studies from 8 different countries. It found that irritability, drooling and gum irritation were the main symptoms of teething and that they primarily occurred during the initial teething with incisors (from 6-16 months of age).
Although there was a trend toward elevated temperatures in these children, the temperatures did not rise above 38.0 C/100.4 F, which is considered the start of a fever.
As for teething pain we recommend cold items to chew on, be it a solid chew toy (not liquid filled ones), a frozen bagel or a wet washcloth left in the fridge/freezer. Older children can be given cold water in a sippy cup. Topical medicines such as Orajel or Anbesol are generally not recommended due to short length of activity. A single dose of Ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin) may be longer lasting and more effective.
In Good Health,
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