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Oral Health Buzz

Does Teething Cause Diarrhea?

Eliza Martinez

There are several signs that can help you figure out if your child is teething. Though medical experts are divided, many parents report diarrhea when their little one is teething, according to Baby Center. If your baby is displaying other symptoms of teething along with diarrhea, treating him for both at the same time can alleviate his pain and discomfort. If you're asking yourself, "Does teething cause diarrhea?", it is smart to look at both issues as separate but possibly related problems.

Cause

Some doctors attribute diarrhea during teething to the increase in saliva flow that often happens, notes What to Expect. When your baby is getting teeth, he may drool more than usual. Much of this spit gets swallowed, which can upset your little one's tummy and cause diarrhea. However, in the attempt to answer the question "Does teething cause diarrhea?", it is important to remember that diarrhea is caused by a myriad of health issues. If the condition persists or gets worse, call your baby's pediatrician to rule out a bigger problem.

Treatment

Treating diarrhea helps reduce the risk of dehydration and helps your baby's stool return to normal. Continue to breastfeed or offer your baby a bottle on the normal schedule. Between feedings, offer your little one a commercial infant oral electrolyte solution to aid hydration. Change soiled diapers right away, and apply diaper rash cream to keep diarrhea from affecting the skin on the backside.

When to Call the Doctor

A bit of diarrhea when your baby is teething is probably nothing to worry about. However, if the diarrhea doesn't subside, it is important to notify your baby's doctor. Diarrhea can be the result of changes to your baby's diet, antibiotics or a serious health condition, such as a parasitic infection or food allergy. If diarrhea occurs more than twice in a row or your baby also has a fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit, call a pediatrician for further evaluation.

Making Your Baby Comfortable

There is really no way to stop your baby's excess saliva flow if teething has begun, but you can take steps to provide as much comfort as possible during a bout with diarrhea. Give your baby a chilled teething ring or cold, wet washcloth to chew on when the pain crops up. An appropriate dose of over-the-counter pain medication can also help ease gum inflammation and teething pain. Rubbing a clean finger over your baby's gums can alleviate this issue to some degree as well.

Never give your baby a frozen item to chew on because the low temperature can damage his gums. No matter what you've heard, never use whiskey or any other type of alcohol to numb your baby's teething pain. If your baby swallows even a small amount, he could become very sick.

Lots of loving care and attention won't stop diarrhea, but it can soothe and comfort your baby for as long as this issue lasts. Hold your little one, rub his back, sing to him or distract him with toys and books to keep him happy.

Learn more about the teething process in the Colgate Oral Care resources.

Source: Flickr

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