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Can teething cause fever?

Teething usually starts around the age of 6 months. Even though the order in which teeth appear is often the same, the timetable varies significantly, so it should be no surprise if your three month old baby starts showing signs of teething. Most babies will have all milk teeth by the age of 3. Around the age of 6, the baby teeth slowly start being replaced by the permanent teeth – this process lasts for quite a while, until the wisdom teeth show up at around the age of 17 to 21.

The teething process can be very uncomfortable for baby and parents. Normally it begins around four days before the tooth erupts through the gum and lasts for another three days. During this period, your baby may show an array of symptoms, including drooling, irritability,biting, gum rubbing, sucking, decreased appetite for solid food, etc.

High fever is not a sign of teething

There is also a common myth among parents that fever can also be associated with the teething process.

Elevated temperature may occur during the process of tooth eruption. It can happen the day before and the day that the tooth protrudes through the gum. However, any temperature higher than 102°F or 38.9°C shouldn’t be taken as a side effect of teething, but rather a worrying symptom that should be checked out by your baby’s pediatrician.

Some parents attribute symptoms such as a mild runny nose and a cough to teething side effects, although these signs probably indicate the common cold.

Even though both parents and experts sometimes disagree about what are normal side effects of teething, everyone agrees on one thing – serious symptoms should not be ignored and attributed to teething. Therefore, if your baby develops any of the following symptoms while teething:

  • Temperature higher than 102°F or 38.9°C
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Reduced urination
  • Vomiting
  • Severe diarrhea

Contact your physician. These symptoms can be signs of an infection and they require medical attention in order to provide the appropriate treatment.