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Researchers Say Rise in Temperature With Teething Usually Not a Fever

2/18/2016
Researchers analyzing studies from eight different countries determined that while teething can make babies feel miserable, it usually won’t make them sick. The study in the March 2016 Pediatrics, “Signs and Symptoms of Primary Tooth Eruption: a Meta-Analysis” (published online Feb. 18), examined the commonly held but controversial belief that teething causes babies and young children to develop a fever and other symptoms of illness.  Combining data from 10 major studies, the researchers found that gum irritation, irritability and drooling were the most frequent symptoms of teething in infants and toddlers.  A slight rise in body temperature was another common symptom, but most often was not high enough to be considered a fever.  The authors said the finding was important because if a child develops a true fever, generally considered to be over 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit), assuming that the cause is teething may lead doctors or parents to miss possible illness or infection that requires treatment. This study also found that symptoms of teething tended to peak during emergence of a child’s primary incisors or front teeth, which can occur between 6 and 16 months of age, and decreased as the child got older. 

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