What Is the Connection Between Teething and a Runny Nose?

When a child is teething, toys like teething rings may provide some relief.
Teething symptoms include excessive drooling.
Article Details
  • Written By: Anna B. Smith
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 15 September 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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Many parents associate teething and a runny nose because of the cold-like symptoms many children experience during that time. Babies tend to put their hands in their mouths a great deal while they are teething because of the pain and new sensations they are feeling in their gums. Their hands may come in contact with a large amount of germs during the day, which are then introduced into their systems, resulting in a runny nose.

Every baby begins teething at a different age. Most babies have begun to cut their first tooth by their seventh month. They typically receive 20 baby teeth, which are gradually replaced during subsequent years by the full adult set of 32.

The first teeth to appear are the incisors. These are the front two teeth on the upper and lower gums. The lower teeth tend to cut through first. The incisors are followed by first molars, canines, and second molars. Most children have their full set of baby teeth by age three.

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A baby who is experiencing both teething and a runny nose may also be suffering from a cough and a low fever. These may be signs that the child is fighting an infection or virus. The mucous in the nose will begin to turn yellow or green if infection sets in and a doctor should be consulted. Clear mucous from both the nose and mouth, however, may indicate that a tooth is pushing through the gums. Other symptoms of teething may include fussiness, excessive biting, drooling, and ear pulling.

There are a variety of safe medications available for infants experiencing these cold-like symptoms. These include fever reducers and decongestants. These drugs generally should not be given to children suspected of cutting a tooth. Most doctors prefer to reserve these to fight actual colds and viruses, and a professional should be consulted before administering the medication.

Many parents choose to deal with teething and a runny nose with natural home remedies. This includes offering the child a toy chilled in the freezer or a frozen waffle to mash with their gums. The cool sensation provides relief for the burning pain caused by the incoming teeth. Parents may also take their babies into the bathroom and run a hot bath or shower to create a large amount of steam. This steam softens the sinus passages and allows the mucous to run freely out of the nose and ease breathing.

There is no definitive connection between teething and a runny nose. In fact, teething has no scientific link with any accompanying symptoms. Side effects of teething are behaviors generally noticed and agreed upon by most parents. Doctors typically hesitate to confirm any theories that associate teething with any other physiological change.

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