This is perhaps the dental topic that draws my ire most consistently. While facebook creeping, as I tend to do, I often see parents make comments about little Suzie’s fussiness and fever. Society has subconsciously brainwashed us to offer condolence and explanation once we catch whim of this unfortunate occurrence. After all, no one likes to hear of a sick baby. The top comment is usually from a grandmother or aunt, and goes along the lines of “Oh no, is she sick?” A perfectly logical comment. About 2 or 3 comments later, however, someone will undoubtedly say, “Teething?” To an anti-dentite, this may be of no significance to you. As a dentophile, this breaks my heart. Teeth are consistently the butt of much criticism. They are too yellow. They are too crooked. They are sensitive. They hurt. They caused an abscess. They bit my cheek in the same spot 5 times! One thing that teeth should not be blamed for, however, is a fever. Once you’ve picked yourself off of the ground, please continue reading. Macknan et al. reported that vomiting, diarrhea, and fevers greater than 102 degrees (among other symptoms) were not significantly related to teething in their study of 125 children/475 erupting teeth published in 2000. One theory is that teething babies wind up chewing on their hands more to help soothe their tender gums. This innocent action can introduce not-so-innocent viruses from baby’s hands into baby’s system and can result in a baby with a fever greater than 102 degrees. Alternatively, a fever greater than 102 degrees occurring during teething could simply be a coincidence. The moral of the story is to give your teeth a break for a few minutes at least, and take that baby to the pediatrician if his/her fever exceeds 102!
If you don’t believe me, check out the ADA’s article about teething HERE
And you can find a link to the study referenced above HERE