Although it's a natural part of growth and something that all babies are expected to go through, teething can be quite painful and traumatic. Seeing a baby in discomfort is also quite stressful and upsetting for parents.
As long as everything goes well, the teething period will eventually be over and your child won't be left with any lasting trauma. However, it's a good idea to watch out for any signs that there might be a problem.
Issues with teething are rare, but they do happen sometimes. You should also be aware that, when a baby is teething, it might be more difficult to spot other health problems. Here are some of the things to look out for.
In most cases, this is nothing you need to worry about. Although a baby's first tooth should appear somewhere around the six-month mark, give or take a month or two, there are plenty of cases where things take a bit longer.
There can be quite a wide range of variations that are perfectly healthy, so don't worry if your baby's not in any hurry to develop their teeth. However, if there's still no sign of teething at 18 months old, you should make an appointment with a family dentist.
People widely consider a fever to be a normal part of teething, and that's often all it is. But if your baby has developed a fever, it's always best to get a professional opinion, especially if it's particularly high or lasts more than a day.
Diarrhoea is another symptom frequently considered a normal part of teething, but it's one that medical professionals aren't so sure about. Don't assume it's normal if your baby is experiencing digestive problems. It's more likely a sign of illness than it is an accepted part of teething.
Babies increase saliva production as they grow, and, combined with teething, this can lead to a fair amount of drooling. However, if it seems particularly excessive or you're concerned about how much it's happening, visit a dentist to get your child's mouth checked out. It could be a sign of injury or infection in the teeth or gums.
Although a baby's gums can bleed a small amount while they're teething, it should be minimal, with a few spots here and there. Any significant bleeding should be checked to make sure everything is okay and that the teeth are growing through healthily.
Nothing seems to help
There are numerous medicines on the market to relieve the pain of teething, plus good old-fashioned home remedies like toys to chew on or cold items to soothe the gums. If it seems like none of these things are helping to make the process easier, it's a good idea to arrange a professional check-up.