It is a commonly held belief by parents that teething causes diarrhoea. Current medical opinion, however, is that there is no evidence of a causal relationship between a child's teething and any issues with the alimentary tract. But what is a parent to think when diarrhoea seems to inevitably follow erupting teeth?
The myth that teething causes diarrhoea is quite prevalent. The most common belief is that the excess saliva caused by teething somehow affects the gastrointestinal system. Medical research, however, has found no such causation between teething and diarrhoea.
Why do so many people believe there is a connection, in that case? It may be because teething children are prone to pick up germs that can cause diarrhoea. When a child is teething, he will put anything and everything in his mouth to try to ease the discomfort, and many of those things are not very clean.
In addition, teething usually happens in children when they are between 6 and 24 months old, a time during which a large percentage of children will experience any number of different, completely unrelated, symptoms or ailments. Those symptoms may coincide with teething, but they are likely completely unrelated.
When parents believe their child's diarrhoea is caused by teething, they may be less concerned than if the cause is unknown. Their lack of diligence may mean missing a diagnosis of a gastrointestinal problem or failing to notice or treat the dehydration that accompanies diarrhoea in children.
When your child simultaneously experiences teething and diarrhoea, you should ensure that the objects he is chewing on have been properly cleaned, keep him hydrated, feed him foods that will help control rather than aggravate the condition, and see your doctor immediately if the diarrhoea persists.