A babys first tooth appears anywhere between 4 months to 10 months of age. The tooth erupts through the gums cutting it a process medically called odontiasis. The child experiences teething symptoms prior to the eruption of the teeth. Where generally the first tooth eruption occurs at about 6 months of age, there are also cases of early and late teethers. Rarely a natal tooth may be present at birth itself. This is often a unique occurrence and is just one of the unusual findings in an otherwise normal child. Natal teeth can be loose and removed prior to discharge of the baby from the hospital.
Teething can cause significant gum discomfort as the tooth tries to come through the surface of the gums. The area from where the tooth is preparing to erupt may be swollen and red. A small blood blister may also form over the erupting tooth. Molars are larger and may cause more discomfort due to the large area that has to be sliced by the tooth. Third molar eruptions and permanent teeth formations seldom cause any problems. Most discomfiture is associated with the eruption of primary teeth.
The following symptoms are noted :
- Drooling also associated with drool rashes, drool cough, drool diarrhoea
- Fever and irritability
- Restlessness and sleeplessness
- Fussy refusing to feed
- Biting and thumb sucking
- Bringing the hands constantly to the mouth
- Rubbing cheeks and ears areas due to pain during eruption of the molars
Dr. Renju Anil prescribes topical applications or the administration of acetaminophen to soothe the pain. A soft plastic device known as a teething ring is recommended for the baby to chew on. This helps break down some gum tissue to allow the tooth to grow out of the gums. Preferred home remedies would be to allow the infant to chew on bread sticks, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables.