If your baby is teething, you may have questions that many other
Are my baby’s symptoms caused by teething? When teething, many babies drool. Teething happens during the
same time that babies are putting “everything” into their mouths. (Your baby is
going through the oral discovery phase of development.) Drooling can cause a
rash on the chin, face, or chest. Some babies can also seem cranky during
teething. This is likely because of soreness, swelling, and tenderness around
the gums of the erupting tooth. Babies may bite on their fingers or toys to
help relieve the pressure in the gums. They may also refuse to eat and drink
because of mouth soreness. These symptoms usually begin about 3 to 5 days
before a tooth erupts, and they disappear as soon as the tooth breaks through
the gum. Other babies do not show any signs of discomfort from teething. Teething may cause a mild increase in your child’s temperature. But if the temperature is higher
than 100.4Â°F (38Â°C), look for symptoms that may be related to an infection or illness. Severe or ongoing symptoms
should be closely watched and discussed with your doctor.
Why are my baby’s teeth not coming in as expected?
Some babies’ teeth erupt later than average or in an unusual pattern. Often
this is a result of a normal developmental variation. Sometimes delays or
irregular eruption patterns are caused by minor problems, such as another tooth
in the path of an erupting tooth, not enough space in the jaw, or failure of a
tooth to break through the gum (impaction). A delay in eruption, absence of
teeth, or crooked teeth may also be related to a birth defect of the mouth or
jaw, such as cleft palate. In very rare cases, a baby does not
develop primary teeth at all. If your 18-month-old has not had any teeth erupt,
talk with your doctor.
What if my baby loses a baby tooth because of an injury? Early loss of a primary tooth may delay or
speed up the eruption of a permanent tooth. If the primary tooth loss occurs
long before the expected eruption of the permanent tooth, a dentist may need to
place a spacer in the child’s mouth. If a spacer is not used, teeth on each
side may tip into the space, causing an impaction.
Why does my child have a double row of teeth? A secondary (permanent) tooth coming
in behind a primary (baby) tooth may result in a double row of teeth. This
usually is not a problem. But permanent teeth may come in crooked if the child
has a small upper or lower jaw that doesn’t provide enough room for all the
What if my child has a small jaw? Although many
children with a small upper or lower jaw have enough space for all their
primary teeth, they may not have enough room in their mouth for all 32
permanent teeth. This can lead to crooked teeth. Discuss this concern with your
doctor or dentist.