In this article, we will tell you the differences between teething symptoms and ear infections in babies, why babies scratch their ears and the reasons for this. When you see a baby tugging or scratching his ear, the first thing that comes to mind is whether your baby has an ear infection. So we’re going to talk specifically about the differences between ear infection and teething.
We would especially like to emphasize that if there is a grumpy baby in the house, it is almost standard family behavior to wonder if it is teething or if there is something else to worry about. So first of all, “What are my baby’s teething symptoms? How can I understand them? Let’s answer your questions.
1. My baby gnaws at everything.
The tooth trying to come out in the jawbones has an uncomfortable pressure, and the back pressure relieves your baby a little. Your baby also tries to create back pressure by biting objects voluntarily or involuntarily. As a result, your teething baby will try to bite everything he can get into his mouth. That’s why you have to be careful with your fingers. Especially babies who have teethed before can seriously injure your finger to balance the pressure between their existing teeth and their old teeth. In addition, if your baby has not had a tooth before and his palate is itchy, a palate massage, especially with fingers washed with cold water, will relax your baby. In addition, it will be very useful for teether with liquid gel inside. Before giving these teethers to your baby, you should cool them by keeping them in the refrigerator for a while.
2. Your baby is drooling.
During teething, babies’ salivary glands are overworked. Saliva lubricates the mouth and softens the gums. This is one of the biggest benefits of saliva. It also makes food easier to swallow. Since your baby cannot fully control the muscles in his mouth yet, the saliva in his mouth overflows to his chin and around his mouth, so it can cause redness and rash, especially on the chin, cheeks, lips and lower part of the neck.
3. Having a skin rash around the chin caused by the tooth.
The rashes we mentioned above, that is, the extra saliva that the child creates during the teething process can cause chapped cheeks, chin and redness. If your baby has a small, red, slightly raised rash, this can usually appear on the cheeks, chin, neck, and chest. But not elsewhere. In this process, the rash occurs repeatedly and passes. This cycle repeats for a while. In this case, you do not need to worry or use medication. It will pass by itself.
All babies cry and get cranky from time to time. Over time, you will begin to understand the reason for their moodiness. If your baby is rested, fed, cleaned and dry, in other words, if he/she is not interested in his/her toys even though he/she is completely fine, and you think that your baby is restless for some reason, the reason may be teething. Of course, you can also feel this situation due to the shortening of sleep, the frequency of waking up crying, the sound of groaning at night and the difficulty of falling asleep.
5. Does not want solid foods.
If your baby has been very enthusiastic about eating solid foods before, but now suddenly becomes indifferent to solid foods, loss of appetite may be the cause of toothache. Especially if this rejection sometimes decreases and sometimes increases, chances are high that your baby is suffering from toothache. However, teething babies are generally more inclined to be fed with breast milk or bottle feeding, that is, to deal with liquid foods.
6. Increased fever.
We should pay attention to this issue. Babies don’t have a fever when they’re teething. There are also some criteria in the fever of babies. The warming of the body is different, the slight increase in body temperature is different, but the emergence of fever is different. Studies clearly show that there is a slight increase in the body temperature of babies in the days before and after the eruption of a new tooth, but this will not rise above 38.5 °C when measured from the ear or 38 °C when viewed from the armpit. It should not be forgotten that the fever of the child means an infection, not a tooth. If the temperature you measure is above the values we have mentioned, you should contact your doctor immediately. However, if it is lighter, you can continue to follow it at home.
7. Rubbing the face, pulling the ear and hair.
We don’t know exactly how babies feel during teething. But it’s probably something between pain and itching. And this feeling sometimes leaves a feeling that is a little closer to the itching side and sometimes a little closer to the pain side. For this reason, the fibers of the nerve cells of the area where your baby’s teeth are located cause itching, as if there is an infection or pain in your child’s chin, ear, hair or elsewhere. You can think of it like this; Your tooth hurts, but you feel the pain in your ear, in your head, and your baby is experiencing the same thing.
Ear Infection symptoms
The symptoms or behaviors we will discuss below are more likely to be the result of an ear infection and another illness. In other words, the 5 items we will talk about should bring you closer to the infection side and should cause you to contact your doctor earlier, depending on the situation.
1. Your baby has a fever.
As our bodies fight an infection, we get a fever. This condition is the body’s self-protection mechanism. If your baby’s temperature is above 38.5 °C when you measure it from the ear, and if it is above 38 °C when you look under the armpit, it means that he has a fever. What to do in this situation?
If you have a baby between 0 and 3 months and has a fever, you definitely go to the doctor. You should definitely monitor the temperature at home, you should measure your child’s temperature at regular intervals after sleeping at night. The only exception to not going to the doctor is vaccination. If you have had your baby vaccinated, you can check with a pain reliever and antipyretic at home, but even then, if you are too worried, you can contact your doctor. Let’s repeat, if you have a fever other than vaccination, you should consult your doctor.
2. Your baby’s rejection of solid and liquid foods
If your baby has only refused one meal of food and there are no other symptoms, don’t be alarmed right away. It probably doesn’t have a problem. However, in this case, it will be useful to follow the fever at 3-4 hour intervals. If your baby still doesn’t want to feed even though you put food within reach of your child, or if your baby refuses to feed more than one meal, but also has other symptoms such as coughs, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, your baby probably has a problem. In this case, you should immediately take your notes and contact your doctor. If you contact your doctor, your baby will be tested correctly and you will use medicine.
3. Having a different symptom such as vomiting, diarrhea, cough or runny nose.
A teething baby coughs more often than normal due to the excessive saliva in his mouth, it is usually felt as if he is imitating us, that is, it makes a squawk and does not continue. But if there is an excessive cough, then the event can be directed differently. If your baby has a runny nose, cough, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased urine output, or other symptoms, he probably has a disease, and it’s time to be checked by a doctor.
4. Your baby is not calming down.
All babies have occasional restless periods. Some babies may be more restless at night and others during the day. During such periods, babies may need more attention. In this case, it may be helpful to hold your baby in your arms, try to play and try to distract yourself. But if he still doesn’t calm down, that nothing you do seems to work, and sometimes you feel that something is wrong, but you have trouble putting it into words, then trust your feelings and go to your doctor.
5. To have a skin rash around the chin caused by the tooth.
As we mentioned above, there may be some rashes on the skin due to the flow of dental saliva around the chin and throat. But your baby’s rash on the face, chin, or upper chest from drooling or rashes is more likely than not due to teething. If you are unsure of the source of the problem, you can do a cup test. You press a glass against the place where the rash is, if under pressure the rash does not go away, you should contact your child’s doctor. Again, it is useful to mention that the reason for skin loss may not be dental saliva. In this case, your child may be having an infection with a rash. Don’t assume that every rash is caused by a child’s rash or drooling as a standard.
To sum up our article, if you think that your child has passed one of the substances listed in the first part, your baby is probably teething. The items we listed in the second part will guide you towards the infection a little more.
If your baby is teething, if you want to help him, we can suggest the following;
Teething usually doesn’t cause much pain, but in some cases you may need to give painkillers. It will be beneficial for your baby to carefully measure the painkiller you will give and give it in the appropriate dose for its weight. More or less is of no use to us. In addition, if you are giving or planning to give a pain reliever for the first time, we recommend that you consult with your doctor before applying. Your doctor will determine the correct dose.
You need to gently wipe off the excess saliva on your child’s face, and if there are cracks, you can apply a moisturizer with a little more organic content to the area to protect their skin. Wet a cloth with cold water, wring it out, fold it and leave it in the mouth for baby to chew. This is one of the cold applications we recommend to reduce his pain and will help reduce your child’s pain. Another recommendation is to place a refrigerated teething ring or age-appropriate teething toys in the refrigerator, and your child can spend time playing with them while biting to soothe the teething itching. However, the point to be considered here is that you should not use dental gels containing benzocaine.
If your child is 6 months old and a solid food baby, a teething biscuit can help. Or you can help the child relieve toothache by giving a cold food (watermelon, melon, apple, etc.).
If you think that your baby is closer to the substances in the second part, it means that your baby has an infection. If you think your child has an ear infection or another infection, we have a few suggestions to help you. If you think your child is showing symptoms from teething but these symptoms do not improve within 1-2 days, see a doctor. But if you say we will follow you at home for two days, you can do the following for 2 days. First, you can give painkillers. Give a drug with antipyretic and analgesic activity in a dose suitable for the child’s weight, but you should consult your doctor before using it for the first time. A very important point here is that we do not recommend giving antipyretic syrups to babies who have not completed 3 months. If you are very desperate, you can give it under the control of your doctor. Even if you know what the problem of your babies under 3 months is, a detailed examination should be done by going to the doctor.
In the second stage, offer foods and liquids frequently to prevent dehydration, but don’t be persistent. If you have established a routine, if your child has a good feeding, sleep and wake cycle, if you have the luxury of being at home with your baby, let them sleep when they want, wake up when they want, eat the food they want in the amount they want. We leave them completely alone during this period. If you feel a pain in your baby’s or child’s ear, you can relieve this pain by applying a warm compress to the ear. At the other stage, you can raise your baby’s head a little by leaving a pillow under your baby’s bed. What you need to pay attention to here is that you leave it under your baby’s bed. We do not recommend the use of a pillow directly on your baby. Especially in the first 1 year of age, this is a completely prohibited application. Our aim is to create a position like a reflux bed and to make your baby sleep higher.
To sum up our article, teething in babies can cause drooling, restlessness, sleep disturbance, food refusal, wanting to gnaw something, but teething never causes a high fever. If your baby has a high fever, is less interested in feeding, can’t feed, that is, you can’t feed at all, has a runny nose, has rashes, but this is red like a rash, so it doesn’t look like a normal rash or something caused by saliva, and your baby needs to do something new or not. Sometimes if you can’t name the problem exactly but you say yes there is a problem, it would be best to go to your doctor, and if you can’t go to your doctor, it would be best to contact your doctor by doing certain procedures.
If you are interested in our article on “Understanding and Causes Earache In Babies (Teething, Infection, Ear Wax)”, click here to read it.