Eruption of the deciduous teeth usually begins in the 6th month of the child. It is usually preceded by salivation and child likes to put the fingers or toys into the mouth and try to crush it. The small deciduous incisor usually erupts without difficulty, but difficult teething is commonly associated with larger teeth.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF TEETHING
- Swelling of the gingival mucosa (gums) over the erupting teeth.
- Small patches of erythema (redness of the skin) on the cheek.
- Inflammation of the gingival tissues before complete emergence of the crown, may cause a temporary painful condition, which may be relieved spontaneously after few days.
- General irritability and crying
- Loss of appetite
- Sleeplessness and restlessness
- Increased drooling of saliva
- Increased thirst
- Circumoral rash.
Teething and Associated Problems
The following issues may be associated with teething process.
Systemic problems are associated with types of infection which occur due to putting dirty object into the mouth during eruption of teeth.
- Infantile paralysis.
Management of Teething
Local Treatment :
- Teething Toys:
A child uses their hands and mouth to explore unfamiliar objects. Various types of teething rings, keys and other toys in different shades are available in mother craft shops. These toys are designed to satisfy the psychological natural tendency of the child to bite, chew and suck. The child may get relief from soreness by pressure of biting and teething toys which have a useful function.
- Teething food:
In place of teething toys, hard rusk or biscuit preparations can be used. Teething food should not contain active sugar or sweetening agent since it may produce caries (cavities).
- Application of topical anesthetics:
If the child is having extreme difficulty during teething process topical applications of Mucopain ointment (salicylic acid+lignocaine) preparation can be given 3-4 times/day .
Systemic Medicament May be considered only if local treatment has been ineffective.
Please note teething is a natural process and as a parent, you need not panic looking at your child’s condition. Try to follow the above mentioned local treatment and see what suits the child.