Teething is best defined as the process by which the first teeth of your baby cut through the gums and erupt.
The medical fraternity has now concluded that the gums are not really ‘cut’; in fact certain hormones are secreted by the baby that destroys some of the cells in the gum tissue so that a gap is created for the first teeth to erupt.
Signs and Symptoms
Statistics indicate that only one third of all babies present with symptoms at the time of teething. The rest invariably present no symptoms and the process of teething is relatively silent.
When signs and symptoms do appear they may include some or more of these:
# 1 Drooling
There is significant increase in secretions from the mouth which can be a source of irritation for your baby.
This typically begins at around ten weeks of age and may continue until your baby is four months old or even later.
This is best controlled by constantly wiping the baby dry and using a napkin around the neck so that the shirt or clothes do not get soggy.
# 2 Tender Rashes
Due to the intense increase in secretions from the mouth it is common for your baby to present with irritation of the tender skin around the mouth, chin and neck region.
This in turn can lead to chapping of the skin and hence a rash begins to appear which can be difficult to treat.
Constantly wipe the face, chin and neck region dry by patting the region gently and never allow the skin to stay moist.You can even use a moisturizer to keep the skin healthy and thus protect your baby from getting that rash.
# 3 Biting and Chewing
The pressure of erupting teeth on the tender gum line can be traumatic for the baby.
Thus you may observe your baby pushing his hands into his mouth constantly in an effort to apply counter pressure over the affected area.
This can be controlled with ease provided that you provide your baby with teething rings and rattles.
The more your baby chews or ‘gums’ the rattle or ring, greater is the probability that your baby will remedy her symptoms with ease.
# 4 Crying
The first communication from the baby to the mother is in the form of crying or gentle whimpers.
Thus logically when the first milk tooth erupts and the baby gets her first twinge of discomfort she will invariably share the experience with the mother.
On the contrary a large number of babies may breeze through their teething episodes without a whimper.
If your baby presents with bouts of crying and discomfort during this period, you could discuss this with your doctor.
# 5 Cheeks and Ears Discomfort
When the gums are irritated, it is not unusual for your baby to experience pain and discomfort in the region of the cheeks and the ears.
The logic is very simple.There is documented evidence that the ears, cheeks and the gums share a common pathway for pain and nerve supply.
This pain and discomfort is well controlled by using a home remedy like Almond Extract.
Almond paste is mixed with water and rubbed on the irritated gums twice or thrice in a day. This controls or reverses the irritation and hence minimizes the discomfort in the region of the Cheeks and Ears too.