What Can I Do About Teething Pain?

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Posted on August 15, 2014
What can I do about Teething pain?

Hi, my name is Greg Evans, I am a (board certified) pediatric dentist practicing in Fort Collins Colorado.

The question you asked is a very good one and one I answer frequently. Surprisingly, many professionals dental and medical don’t have the correct answer for this question and lots of false information is out there. Here are the facts:

Teething pain runs the spectrum from very mild to excruciating for children and is not based on child’s gender, age or overall health.

Teething pain usually peaks just before a tooth breaks through the gum tissue. Once is it through the gum tissue is often sore around the tooth , but that dull aching sensation will subside.

Teething pain us usually worst for the first baby molars at about age 13-19months. The baby canines hold a close second for pain that come about 22 months and the second baby molars which come about 30-36 months are much less painful.

In my experience teething pain is cyclical, it come and goes over time. As such it can be remedied in a number of ways:

Rubbing a finger firmly over the gums or having a child chew on a toy or other soft object may help temporarily relieve the gums of pressure.

Placing a very small amount of topical anesthetic on the gums may be helpful for child to eat or get to sleep. Use a very small amount directly on the gums or the topical will be carried away by the saliva to create bad numbing sensation in the child’s throat.

For longer pain episodes, I recommend good old Tylenol to my patient families. What was once a very grumpy whiny kid turns back into your little angel once that pain goes away. The correct dosage for Tylenol is 15mg per kilogram, so for the average 22-25 pound one year old 1 teaspoon of the children’s 160mg/5ml Tylenol is perfect. Give the medicine about 30 minutes to take effect. If using for more than two days, consult your pediatric dentist or physician.

Be aware also that kids are allowed to have more than one problem at a time – just like adults! Since a child will teeth from about her seventh month to her third birthday, they can also get other illnesses.

It’s a old wives tale that teething produces diarrhea or high fever. Any fever over 101 or diarrhea more than two days is likely a virus or bacterial infection that may need medical attention.

If a child drools in response to teething and gets dehydrated, they may run a low fever. So try to keep your kido drinking.

Other oral problems may also mask as teething, so if you see sores on the gums or tongue with a high fever and swollen lymph nodes, a primary oral herpes infection may be the culprit. Again, your area pediatric dentist will be well versed in the diseases of childhood. If it looks strange, get it checked.

Remember, teething is a normal part of childhood, unpleasant yes, but not nearly as bad a teaching a kid how to drive. We all made it and so will your kido!

For more details or to find out what other questions you may need the answers too, log on to my website at biggrinswithdrgreg.com or email me. I love what I do and I would love to help you raise beautiful healthy children!