Does Teething Cause Fever in Babies

History of Teething and Relation to Fever

Looking back in history at older civilizations, ancient Hindus and Greeks thought that teething caused fever and illness in babies, and the Sumerians thought fever and illness was connected to worms. The earliest doctor, Hippocrates, was known to say that teething caused many symptoms such as loose stools, itching, fever, and other teething signs and symptoms, although not all but many symptoms are still recognized today as actual teething symptoms. The worst aspect of teething that has risen through the ages is that teething is a cause of death, and this was due to the lack of knowledge human and baby physiology and the scientific information we know today. Back in 1839 in England, more than 5000 deaths were claimed to be caused by teething, and also in 1842 the same public figure stated that about 1 in 8 deaths under the age of four was caused by erupting teeth.

Past Views on Teething and Fever

It is crazy to think about the ideas and theories that past generations have had especially relating severe symptoms
and even death to the natural process of teething. Since no scientific approach was used on teething babies, they based their observations on pure coincidence. Tooth eruption during the teething period of 3 months to 3 years only occurs every month or two on average so it can be easy to understand how and why they may have formulated their theories on the different teething symptoms.

Infants suffered through many ailments, diseases, and infections during their toddler stage as this was a normal part of life in this period. Since teething was happening at the same time that babies would be experiencing symptoms such as fever, vomiting, meningitis, rashes, tetanus, diarrhea, and seizures, it would be common to place the cause of death on an infant as “due to teething” before the late 19th century.

The Crazy Teething Solutions

Many infants did die as a result of parents and doctors trying to diagnose and treat teething with the wrong symptoms. This period caused a lot of fear to parents and brought upon some weird teething remedies that people thought would help keep their child healthy and alive. Some examples of these teething remedies were having a puppy lick a baby’s mouth, giving lead or salt with mercury to teething infants, tying a penny on a string around the toddler’s neck, and a host of other silly procedures. Blaming many symptoms on teething sounds ludicrous to us today but infant mortality was at high rate in older generations who did not have the knowledge to see the real problem.

Studies: Does Teething Cause Fever?

What is really going on when babies are experiencing symptoms such as fever, vomiting, rash, or diarrhea and does teething cause fever or any of these signs and symptoms? Survey statistics show that 75% of parents, 83% of nurses, and 64% of pediatric dentists still believe that teething and fever have a relationship with either other. It seems like we have to now educate and bring to the fore front that fever has no relationship to teething at the slightest bit.

  • Study 1: Over 2000 days, 111 children were being tracked of their teething symptoms. A baby had a temperature of over 100 for only 64 days out of the total 2000 days and were erupting teeth at the same time. Many other teething symptoms were recorded like drooling and fussiness, but researchers concluded that fever was not associated with teething.
  • Study 2: Study titled Fever Associated with teething ran over a six month period, 46 babies were tracked and researched found that average temperature during the eruption of teeth was 99.7 for babies that had a mild fever. Not much other detail was given in the study however.
  • Study 3: An Australian study done on teething and fever on 21 infants for 7 months at three different day care centers, doctors and researchers took temperatures of toddlers who appeared to have teeth coming in or erupting. After analyzing the data, the researchers concluded “It is time to relinquish our long-held cultural beliefs about teething [and] acknowledge that . . . tooth eruption is not strongly associated with significant symptoms” (Wake et al, Pediatrics, 2000).

Real Cause of Fever in Infants

So if teething doesn’t actually cause a fever then what is going on with my baby? It is 99% of the time due to some kind of infection or stress response because of the gum inflammation that is happening. Normal body temperatures is 98 degrees to 100.3 degrees F, but most infants can tolerate temperatures up to 102.2 with just a small amount of discomfort. Infections can happen easily in growing toddlers because their immune systems have not developed enough to be able to fend of germs and viruses at a consistent rate. Body temperature is one of the ways our bodies help to fight bacteria because it is much more optimal at getting rid of an infection. A growing baby body is still new and therefore not as finely tuned as an adult body and thus can trigger a high fever even when not necessary, which can alarm some parents.

Vomiting and Fever

Vomiting may also be present when a baby is sick along with a high fever, but is not a sign for an alarm as those are both symptoms and do not mean the baby has a disease. Waiting 3–4 days for a fever to pass due to a cold is okay, but if an infection persists longer it is okay to go see your pediatrician to take a look.

So does teething cause fever or vomiting in infants? No it does not and you do not have to worry that the teething process is giving your baby abnormal teething symptoms such as teething and fever when babies do start teething. Look for other signs that your baby may be showing of an infection or cold and treat the cold if absolutely necessary and not the teething. No worries about teething and fever anymore, to ease teething symptoms safely and in a fun way, check out the collection of teething relief and teething remedies from Kute Keiki.

Original Source: Does Teething Cause Fever in Babies