Does a Child's Mouth Bleed During Teething?

Baby Boy is Lying Down in the Backyard
Baby teething while laying down on blanket. (Image: ipekata/iStock/Getty Images)

One of the less common, but more worrisome, symptoms of teething is bleeding. A few spots of blood can sometimes be seen during teething, along with other symptoms like sucking, biting on solid objects, pain, slight decrease in appetite and irritability.

Causes

Just when the tooth is cutting through a child’s gums, you might notice a small reddish or purplish blister or bump. This is an eruption hematoma, a collection of blood just underneath the surface of the gums. When the tooth cuts through the gums, the hematoma bursts and a few drops of blood might be seen on the child’s pillow or bib or washcloth that he has been biting.

When To Expect This Symptom

Bleeding or eruption hematomas can occur in relation to any tooth prior to its eruption. Teething can start anywhere from about 6 months to the time the child is 3-years-old. But the reassuring thing about minor bleeds or hematomas associated with teething is that they resolve on their own and rarely require any treatment. However, if you are concerned at all, do not hesitate to seek the advice of your child's pediatrician or dentist.

What You Can Do About It

When the issue is just a few drops of blood and there is no active bleeding, no real treatment is required. But you can do several things to comfort your child. Let him bite on a cold washcloth. This helps relieve the teething pain and controls any small amount of bleeding that might be occurring in the area of the new tooth. A teething ring could also be used. Make sure it is an age-appropriate one by reading the manufacturer's age recommendations.

Other measures to help with teething include gentle massage with a clean finger or washcloth and the occasional use of over-the-counter medication like acetaminophen. Use caution while giving your child any medication and ensure the dosage is appropriate by checking with your doctor.

Other Symptoms To Watch Out For

Cleveland Clinic's Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine conducted a prospective study that revealed no defined set of symptoms that can reliably predict a tooth is going to erupt. So, before attributing any major symptom to teething, it would be wise to seek the advice of a doctor to rule out anything more serious.

Along with bleeding and pain, if your child pulls his ear, has a high fever, diarrhea or a severe cough and cold, take him to the doctor or dentist. These can all be signs of infection that need medical attention.

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