Any parent who has gone through the teething phase of their child’s development can tell you that it is no walk in the park. It can be a trying time for both parents and children as they cope with the pain associated with new teeth coming in. But did you know that there could possibly be another symptom to add to your list of worries? Can teething cause congestion? Let’s take a look at what research says about this common association between teething and congestion.
Overview Of Teething And Congestion
The general consensus is that teething can cause congestion, or at least contribute to it. The main reason for this association is due to the fact that when a baby’s gums are irritated by their new teeth coming in, they may begin to drool more than normal.
This increased saliva production can lead to post-nasal drip, which often results in nasal congestion and stuffiness. In addition, many parents report that during the teething period, their baby experiences other symptoms such as fever, irritability, and diarrhea. All of these can also contribute to congestion.
But it’s important to remember that even if your baby is going through the teething phase, this does not necessarily mean they will experience congestion. It is only one potential cause among many.
What Does The Research Say?
The research on this topic is divided, leaving many parents unsure as to whether or not teething can cause congestion in babies. Many doctors are quick to attribute any signs of congestion during teething periods to other causes, such as colds or allergies.
However, some studies have shown that there may be a correlation between teething and nasal congestion.
A study published in the International Journal of Pediatrics suggested that there could be a link between teething and increased nasopharyngeal secretions. The authors also noted that more research is needed to further explore the association between teething and congestion.
How Can You Tell If Your Baby Is Congested Due To Teething?
If your baby is showing signs of congestion during a period when they are also teething, it’s important to pay close attention to other symptoms they may be displaying.
Colds, allergies, and respiratory infections all show similar symptoms but differ significantly when it comes to treatment options and duration.
If your baby has a fever along with nasal congestion, then it’s likely that they are suffering from something other than simple teething pain (in which case you should seek medical help right away).
However, if they don’t have any other serious symptoms accompanying their nasal stuffiness then it may just be due to their new teeth coming in.
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Common Symptoms Of Teething Babies
Some common teething symptoms include:
- Drooling: Babies drool more than usual when they are teething.
- Irritability: Teething can cause soreness and pain in your baby’s gums, leading to increased fussiness and irritability.
- Chewing or biting: Babies often chew on objects like their fingers or toys as a way of relieving some of the pressure and discomfort associated with teething.
- Sore or swollen gums: As teeth start to come in, your baby’s gums may appear red and swollen.
- Low-grade fever: Teething can sometimes cause a slight fever in babies, usually between 99-100 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Runny nose: Your baby's runny nose may become nasal congestion when their new teeth come in due to increased production of mucus in the runny nose as a symptom of teething.
- Diaper Rash: An increase in drooling due to teething can sometimes lead to diaper rash.
Tips For Treating Teething Baby With Nasal Congestion
If you suspect that your baby’s nasal congestion is due to teething, there are a few things you can do to help them get some relief. Here are a few tips for treating a teething baby with nasal congestion:
- Use pain relief medications: Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used to relieve mild discomfort associated with teething.
- Apply cold compresses: Placing a cold washcloth on their gums can help reduce swelling and provide relief from soreness.
- Offer chilled teethers: Chill a rubber teether in the refrigerator for an hour before giving it to your baby as this can help numb the area and provide temporary relief.
- Teething Gels: Gels containing benzocaine or lidocaine may also be applied to the affected area of your baby’s gums for pain relief.
Natural Methods To Soothe Teething Babies
Teething is an uncomfortable experience for babies, and it can be stressful for new parents. When your baby is teething, you may feel like you have few options to offer relief. Fortunately, there are several natural methods to soothe a teething baby. Let’s explore some of the best ones.
Cold Compress Or Massage
A cold compress can help numb the gums and reduce inflammation associated with teething. You can use a damp washcloth that has been chilled in the refrigerator or freezer or opt for a specialized teether that has been cooled in the refrigerator. If your baby doesn’t respond well to cold compresses, massaging the area around their cheek can help provide some relief as well.
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There are several herbal remedies that can offer soothing relief for your baby while they’re teething. Chamomile tea can be used as a gentle gargle to reduce inflammation in their mouth, while chamomile-based ointments or salves applied directly to their gums may also be beneficial.
Essential oils such as lavender and clove oil have antiseptic properties that can reduce infection-causing bacteria in your baby's mouth—in addition to providing them with soothing relief from their toothache! Dilute a few drops of essential oil into coconut or almond oil before applying it lightly to their gums.
Teething is a difficult period for both babies and parents alike. It’s important to keep an eye out for other signs of illness during this time since some symptoms like congestion can be easily confused with teething pain. If your baby is congested, it is best to consult with your pediatrician before attempting any home remedies or over-the-counter medications.