If your normally docile baby suddenly becomes more irritable, drools excessively and has a reduced appetite, teething most likely is the culprit. Teething can also cause a low fever, although high fevers may indicate an illness that requires medical care, such as an ear infection. Consult your doctor if your child's fever rises above 101 degrees Fahrenheit, or if the fever lasts for several days and doesn't respond to fever-reducing medications.
In addition to drooling, irritability, a rash or diarrhea during teething, your baby may also run a slight fever. A fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or less is considered normal, according to Dr. Jerry Rubin, author of "Naturally Healthy Kids."
Increased mucous production during teething may make your baby more prone to ear infections. Sometimes other conditions may appear at the same time as teething. Consult your pediatrician if your baby's fever is above 101 degrees Fahrenheit, or if the baby is inconsolable, is not sleeping or eating or appears to be getting sicker. The runny nose associated with teething is usually clear. Consult your pediatrician if your child's mucous is green or yellow.
To treat fever and discomfort associated with teething, give your child acetaminophen, according to the package directions. Offer ibuprofen only if your baby is older than 6 months. A warm bath can also help relieve fever and pain symptoms.
The time it takes for teeth to erupt through the gums can vary considerably from baby to baby. Some babies cut teeth in a few days, while others may take several weeks. During this time, your baby may drool, have a reduced appetite or be more irritable. Contact your pediatrician, though, if the fever lasts for more than two days.
- "Naturally Healthy Kids"; Jerry Rubin, M.D., et al.; 2006
- AskDr.Sears.com: Is Baby Sick or Teething?