DOES DROOLING =TEETHING?
As you may (or may not!) be aware, I have a little grandson who is now all of four and a half months old. And boy, does he drool!! And, he has been drooling prolifically since he was about 2 months old! But no teeth have come through yet although we can see the little white buds just beneath the surface of his gums! So, this begs the question…does this drooling mean he is “teething” or not??
As my grandson’s mom and dad and myself have discovered, just because there is a waterfall of drool does not mean those teeth are going to pop out the next day!! In fact, they may take another 4 months to pop out! Or they may show themselves with no drooling or other “symptoms” at all if luck would play a part.
My own two boys hardly had any of the classic teething signs. Neither of them drooled prolifically, they didn’t get a fever nor did they choke or gag on too much saliva being produced! My first born presented us with his first gleaming white grin at about 6 months of age with very little discomfort, and a tiny bit of drooling – one or two bib’s worth per day. With my second son, just as we were despairing of him ever getting any teeth, one morning when lifting him from his cot, he gave me a FOUR toothed grin!! All FOUR of his front teeth had sprouted mysteriously overnight!! He was then 8 months old. We never even suspected what was going on beneath the surface of his gums! No drooling to speak of prior to this momentous moment!!! No white under the gums…NOTHING!! And yet we now had 4 beautiful front teeth!
I must admit though, that both of my boys DID chew or bite on anything they could get hold of and put to their respective mouths. So this was one sign that I could tick.
So again I ask, does drooling = teething? I think that physiologically speaking the answer here has to be YES, as teething can cause the production of a lot of saliva which of course leads to the drooling. But practically speaking, some babies don’t drool significantly and one can be fooled into thinking that the baby is not ever going to teeth, only to be surprised by a white grin in the morning – as in my case!
Below are 5 possible signs that teeth are on their way….with no guarantee as to how long they will take before making an appearance!!
It really can be a sign. The only problem is that it starts so darn long before the actual little teeth pop out!!! So here you are, thinking baby is going to get his teeth nice and early….meantime they are still 3 or 4 months away from erupting. So all you can do if your baby is a mighty drooler, is to put a very thick towelling bib around baby’s chest to catch all that drool and keep his cloths dry. It is also a good idea to keep on wiping the drool gently off the chin to stave off that little red rash caused by chafing.
teething babies will bite whatever they can find as when the teeth are trying to poke their way through the gums this causes a lot of pressure which is relieved by pressing down on the gums – in other words, biting! As fingers are quite handy (ha, ha!) they always seem to be in a baby’s mouth when he needs to relieve that pressure, so keep his hands as clean as you can. Likewise any toy that you give him will surely land up being chewed, so choose those toys wisely!
3.Crying or whinging
some babies breeze through the whole teething saga with nary a whimper (as my two boys did!), but for others it can be very painful when the tooth (or teeth) are pushing hard to get out. The only way the baby can express his pain is to whine or cry. These poor little sufferers get irritable – some just for a few hours, some can stay crabby for weeks on end! For these babies, I would humbly suggest that you talk to your paediatrician about pain relievers or use a natural teething remedy, if that is your preference. However, before you go the natural route, there is a warning out on natural remedies which you should be aware of – on September 30, 2016, the FDAwarned consumers in the USA that homeopathic teething tablets and gels may pose a risk to babies and children and most have now been withdrawn from their drugstores. www.babycenter.com
4. Ear pulling and cheek rubbing
as the gums share nerves with the ears and cheeks, your baby may tug furiously at his ear or rub his cheek or chin (hence the chafing if he is also drooling!). The pain or discomfort felt varies madly between babies with some dissolving into a major waterfall of tears and some not feeling the pain at all!
5. Not feeding
for some babies, the sucking action is painful to their gums and so they go off their food. Even babies who are already on solids may also refuse to eat. Keep trying, but don’t hesitate to call your paediatrician if the hunger strike goes on more than 2 days.
Those are the 5 most common signs that your baby might be teething. But as I said in the beginning, teeth do not pop out immediately your baby starts showing any of these signs. So, once they start with any of the above signs, buckle up and enjoy the ride for the next couple of months!!!