Appearance of the first set of teeth in a baby is known as teething. It usually occurs anywhere between 3 to 12 months. However, teething symptoms generally commence within 3 months, even before the growth of a tooth.
Irritability, mild fever, and teething rash are some of the common symptoms of teething.
Can teething cause a rash?
Yes, this type of rash usually occurs due to drooling which is one of the symptoms of teething. The rash often develops around the mouth region. Teething rash may sometimes be accompanied by diaper rash formation.
Teething rash on face
If the baby drips out continuous and voluminous quantities of drool, then it can result in chapping, chafing, redness, and rash development around the chin and mouth, and sometimes even on the neck. Pat away the drool as soon as possible with a clean tissue to prevent the development of teething rash. You may also use Vaseline or other creams to make a moisture barrier and prevent rash formation. Using an unscented gentle moisturizing skin cream is also helpful. The baby’s skin will also get adequate protection via use of a nipple ointment.
Teething rash may be accompanied by a varied of different symptoms such as increased achiness, itchy chin, sleeping difficulties, and oral soreness, etc. The severity and type of these symptoms may vary from one teething baby to another. A few common symptoms that accompany teething rash are listed below:
- Drooling: The process of teething activates production of lots of drool which makes the shirts of the baby continuously soggy. Drooling can start on its own in about ten weeks to 4 months after birth. Parents may gently clean the drool of the chin as soon it pours out so as to prevent chapping. You may also put on an apron on the baby to prevent discomfort for both you and the baby.
- Gag reflex: Continuous outflow of drool can result in coughing and gaging in the baby. It is harmless as long as it is not accompanied by allergies, flu, or cold.
- Excessive crying: Some babies do not experience any adverse symptoms during teething, while others may suffer from intense pain because of inflammation and swelling of the fragile gum tissues. Babies are unable to bear such pain and end up crying incessantly. The initial few teeth cause the most pain and crying; later babies get used to it and the crying often stops. Consult a doctor to get pain killer medication for your teething child.
- Biting: Teething rash is not the only symptom that results in discomfort. Increased pressure exerted by the teeth which jut out from inside the gums can also cause intense discomfort. The baby relieves such pressure by biting and other forms of counter-pressure. Babies may sink their growing teeth into almost everything, including rattles, nipples, fingers, and teething rings, etc.
- Irritability: The pressure of the teeth on the gums can also cause mouth aches which can lead to increased irritability in the baby. They may be crabby for only a few hours or they may remain irritable for many days or weeks.
- Waking in the night: The discomfort associated with teething and teething rash may cause sleep disruptions during the night. Let the baby return to sleep on its own. If the restlessness continues, then pat the baby or sing to him/her. Avoid feeding the baby during this time of the night.
- Feeding problems: Babies like to alleviate discomfort associated with teething rash and other adverse symptoms by sucking on something. However, sucking action can occasionally lead to aggravation of soreness of the gums. This may cause them to be very fussy during feeding times. The combination of sore gums and reduced intake of food may make the babies all the more frustrated. Feeding problems are also observed in teeth babies who eat solid foods. Consult a doctor if feeding issues continue for more than a few days.
- Rubbing the cheeks and/or pulling the ears: The cheeks, ear, and gums have common nerve pathways. Thus, any kind of gum pain or ache can spread to the other areas. This may cause teething babies with gum discomfort to rub their chin or cheeks. In case ear infections also occur, then babies may yank or pull their ears.
Remedies for teething rash
Some of the common remedies to alleviate and prevent teething rash as well as other accompanying symptoms are listed below:
- It is known that excessive drooling, its collection around the mouth and chin, and its spread to the neck, chest, and other parts of a baby’s little body is the main cause of teething rash. Hence, the best way to prevent the formation of teething rash is to immediately wipe of drool from around the mouth, etc., and keep the body and skin dry.
- Rubbing the gums can act as a counter force and help soothe gum discomfort and pain. You may use your clean fingers, a wet soft toothbrush without any toothpaste, or teething toys with soft edges to massage and rub the gums. The baby may not like it at first, but adapts to it soon after it brings relief.
- Change the clothes as soon as they become wet to prevent teething rash development. The same is the case with a wet diaper.
- Chewing on teething toys and other soft items can also offer counter pressure and help ease the pressure and discomfort of teething. This remedy is more effective if the toy is cold; cold items can numb the gums and thus alleviate pressure. It may however be noted that the toys should not be freezing cold as it can harm and damage the fragile and tender gums.
- Intake of cold foods such as blended frozen fruits like peaches, bananas, applesauce, and plums, etc. may be given to the baby after it has been introduced in the baby’s diet. Cold yogurt and cold water can also ease gum ache. It is important to note that these foods need to be given to the teething baby when it is sitting upright to avoid choking hazard.
If the above remedies do not help alleviate teething rash and other accompanying symptoms, then consult a doctor for medications and other therapies.