Teething is a process in which the first set of teeth, called
primary teeth, erupt and break through the gums. Although the timing for each
child varies, most babies get their first tooth at age 6 to 10
months and have a full set of 20 primary teeth by the age of 3
Teething symptoms may begin about 3 to 5 days before a tooth breaks the
skin. But symptoms can be present off and on for 1 to 2 months. The most
common symptoms of teething include:
Swelling, tenderness, or discomfort in the gums
at the site of the erupting tooth.
Increased saliva, which can
cause drooling. Drooling may cause a rash to develop on the chin, face, or
Biting on fingers or toys to try to relieve the gum
Refusing to eat and drink because of mouth
Irritability and difficulty sleeping.
Many babies don't seem affected by teething. If your baby
is uncomfortable, home treatment (such as giving ibuprofen or acetaminophen,
teething rings, cold foods and liquids, and gum massage) usually helps.
Symptoms usually improve or disappear as soon as the tooth breaks through the
Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics & Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.