There is a lot of advice and old wives tales that go hand in hand with baby’s teething process; and a lot of symptoms that baby may show incidentally, or coincidentally are attributed to teething.
While some symptoms may actually be connected to teething, equally there are a lot of teething myths floating around that may well confuse parents. We take a look at some common teething myths –
1. Teething causes diarrhea
This is not so, there is no connection between cutting teeth and the baby having diarrhea.
If parents wonder at the remarkable fact that the two seem to coincide so often; that baby seems to get diarrhea just when he or she is cutting a new tooth, then it could be explained thus – as teeth start to emerge, baby needs to soothe him or herself and tends to put anything available into the mouth.
This anything may not be suitable at all and may cause a stomach upset or infection resulting in the diarrhea.
2. Teething causes fever, runny nose and so on
Again these are symptoms of a viral infection (runny nose could also be caused by an allergy) and are not caused by teething. Having said that, it does seem that babies are more susceptible to such viral infections when they are teething. This could be because the broken gums or eruptions in the mouth may cause the baby to pick up more infections.
Also most babies start to teeth at 6 to 8 months of age, which usually coincides with another developmental milestone; crawling. This means that baby is more mobile and has access to a wider variety of things to put into the mouth, raising chances of infection.
3. Teething causes ear ache
Though teething does not directly cause ear ache, the ear drum and teeth do share a common nerve center, so there could be reflected the pain that the baby suffers from. However at this age, ear infections are very common too, so if a baby seems fretful and is tugging at the ear, don’t just dismiss it as teething; it could be an ear infection that wants looking at.
4. Teething causes excess saliva production
It isn’t that the salivary glands are more active when baby is teething but the fact that baby may be keeping the mouth open more often and for longer periods, which causes the saliva to drool out rather than be swallowed.
5. Teething causes weight loss
When there is tenderness and soreness in the gums caused by teething, this could cause baby to eat less and consequently baby may appear to lose some weight.