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Baby Teething Signs: Do They Really Develop Fever?

Medically reviewed by Ruben Macapinlac, MD, DPPS · Pediatrics · Philippine Pediatric Society

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Oct 19, 2021

Baby Teething Signs: Do They Really Develop Fever?

Spotting baby teething signs helps parents better prepare to handle a more irritable infant. It also allows them to see immediately if the signs and symptoms their little one has are more than just about teething. Parents, here are the basics about baby teething.

Facts About Baby Teething Signs

Some parents still worry that teething brings concerning health issues such as fever, convulsions, and diarrhea. To dispel the myths about the signs of teething in baby, please refer to the facts below:

1. Teething usually starts at 6 months

Some babies are born with teeth (natal teeth), but cases like this are rare. A baby may start teething at 4 months, while others won’t have a single tooth by their first birthday. In general, the first tooth in babies erupts at 6 months.

My Baby is Teething, What Should I Do?

2. Usual baby teething signs

Reports indicate that the most common baby teething signs are as follows:

  • Increased drooling or dribbling
  • Mouthiness, or increased chewing, biting and gnawing the objects around them. In many cases, babies also bite their parents and caregivers.
  • Ear-rubbing
  • A flushed cheek
  • Sore and red gums, especially in the area where the tooth will erupt

Some studies also include the following as the usual baby teething symptoms:

  • Gum-rubbing; you might notice that your baby is rubbing their gums together.
  • Suckling
  • Irritability
  • Decreased appetite for solid foods
  • Mild elevation of body temperature
  • Facial rashes associated with skin irritation due to drooling

baby teething signs

3. Teething doesn’t trigger high fever and diarrhea

Now that we know about the most common baby teething signs, let’s talk about symptoms not associated with tooth eruption.

One clinical trial1 involving 270 children concluded that “there were no associations between teething, and fever and diarrhea.”

In another study published in the Journal of The American Academy of Pediatrics2, the researchers observed that fever of over 38.8° C, increased stool number, and stool looseness were not significantly associated with tooth emergence.

The study also highlighted that the following symptoms were not associated with baby teething:

  • Congestion
  • Coughing
  • Decreased appetite for liquids
  • Rashes other than facial rashes
  • Vomiting
  • Sleep disturbance

However, it’s interesting to note that in other papers, investigators noted sleep disturbances in teething babies. Also, doctors say low-grade fever of up to 38.2° C may be present.

4. Symptoms may appear for 8 days

The number of days your baby experiences teething symptoms vary, but reports say signs usually occur in 8 days. Symptoms typically start 4 days before tooth eruption, on the day of the emergence, and 3 days after the tooth appears.

5. Some factors might affect baby teething signs

Interestingly, studies show that some early-life factors affect how a baby experiences signs of teething. For instance, one research3 that recruited more than 1,000 children observed that tobacco smoke exposure, childbirth via C-section, and maternal vitamin insufficiency during pregnancy affected the child’s susceptibility to teething pain.

How to Soothe Baby Teething Signs

Experts recommend the following tips in soothing a teething baby:

  • Gently rub their baby gums with your clean fingers, a small, cool spoon, or a wet gauze pad. This helps with swollen and sore gums.
  • Give them a clean teether that they can chew on. As much as possible, choose teething rings made with solid rubber. Avoid the liquid-filled ones or those made of plastics (they can break).
  • Wipe the drool from their face to avoid facial rashes.
  • Ba careful with teething biscuits as many of them are not nutritious; in fact, they often contain added sugar and salt.

Stay away from teething rings that contain belladonna, lidocaine, or benzocaine. They may numb your baby’s teething pain, but authorities said they might have potential side-effects.

In one report1, investigators noted that cuddle therapy, teething rings, and rubbing their gums were “the most effective methods to reduce the symptoms.” Learn more about soothing a teething baby here.

Key Takeaways

Knowing the different baby teething signs helps parents prepare better. For instance, they can purchase teething rings in advance and stock up on towels for baby drools. Furthermore, knowing the usual signs allows them to call a doctor immediately when other uncommon symptoms – such as high fever and diarrhea – emerge.

Learn more about Baby Care here


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Ruben Macapinlac, MD, DPPS

Pediatrics · Philippine Pediatric Society

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Oct 19, 2021

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